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Officer Luis Zamora testified that Martinelly Montano admitted he had been drinking and authorities found numerous empty cans of Coors Light in the man’s car.

The trial also included testimony from Sisters Charlotte Lange and Connie Ruth Lupton, who were in the car with Ms. Mosier and are still recovering from the accident.

Ms. Lange testified that while she is back at work, she now has to put a lift in one of her shoes because one leg is longer than the other, and Ms. Lupton now walks with a cane and lost her left thumb in the accident.

“He wasn’t seeking to injure the sisters,” said Martinelly Montano’s attorney, Dimitri Willis. “He wasn’t seeking to injure anyone else on that road.”

Mr. Willis said that Martinelly Montano sent the nuns a Christmas card last year, and that he recorded an apology to them immediately after the incident. The nuns have written him in jail, Mr. Willis said.

“I appreciate their feelings and their teaching and their profession, but … the law is what the law is,” Mr. Ebert said.

After the crash, the county filed two lawsuits against the federal government — one demanding that the Department of Homeland Security release a report detailing the circumstances behind Martinelly Montano’s case and another seeking the disposition of the roughly 4,000 illegal immigrants it has turned over to ICE since 2008.

Under Prince William County law, enacted during a massive crackdown on illegal immigrants in the county in 2007, police officers are required to check the immigration status of everyone arrested.

Original proposals called on law-enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone they suspected was in the country illegally and for the county to deny services to those who could not prove they were in the country legally.

Mr. Stewart, the architect of the law, said he would like to see provisions that authorize Prince William County police to enforce some immigration laws expanded statewide.

“If you don’t require it, they’re not going to do it,” he said of officers’ checking immigration status.

The topic has been divisive in Virginia and across the country.

Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, applied in August 2010 for authority to deputize Virginia State Police to perform some immigration-enforcement duties and last month criticized the Obama administration for delaying the state’s application.

Meanwhile, across the border in the District, Mayor Vincent C. Gray last month signed a measure reiterating the city’s policy for officers not to ask immigration status or to enforce federal immigration laws.

In Alabama, a federal judge in September upheld most parts of a state law that is toughest in the country, including provisions that resemble those defeated in Prince William County that allow law enforcement officers to try to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally.

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