NICOLE MONTALVO: Florida v Christopher Otero-Rivera & Angel Rivera for murder *GUILTY*

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A Florida man and his father have been indicted in the death of the son’s estranged wife.

An Osceola County grand jury formally charged Christopher Otero-Rivera with second-degree murder on Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel reported. He faces a possible life sentence. Otero-Rivera’s father, Angel Rivera, is charged with being an accessory after the fact and faces up to 15 years in prison.

Nicole Montalvo, 33, was found dead in October on property owned by Rivera, investigators said. The St. Cloud woman had gone missing several days earlier after dropping off her 8-year-old son at the Riveras’ home.
 

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Estranged husband enters not guilty plea in murder of Nicole Montalvo

The estranged husband of Nicole Montalvo, a St. Cloud woman found slain last year in Osceola County, formally entered a plea Tuesday morning in court.

Christopher Otero-Rivera, indicted by a grand jury last week, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with evidence.

Judge Jon B. Morgan set a tentative trial date for March 30, but said it could be moved to May if the state and defense agree to push it back.

Otero-Rivera’s father, Angel Rivera, pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory after the fact. His trial was also scheduled for late March.
 

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Osceola County mother may have been murdered over custody battle

Newly filed documents provide a look at why an Osceola County man accused of murder allegedly killed his estranged wife.

Court hearings in the Nicole Montalvo murder case have been on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, but prosecutors and defense attorneys for the accused killer, Montalvo’s estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera have still been filing motions.

On Friday, the state asked to have Otero-Rivera’s case consolidated with that, of his father, Angel Rivera, who’s accused of helping his son dismember, and hide Montalvo’s body.

In their motion prosecutors lay out why they believe the Rivera’s did it, writing “both desired custody of Nicole Montalvo’s son, and that this desire for custody acted as motive for each to commit the crimes with which they are accused.”
 

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Charges upgraded for Christopher's dad...



Father-in-law of slain Osceola mother Nicole Montalvo charged with murder

The father-in-law of a slain Osceola County mother now faces charges of second degree murder.

Angel Rivera, the father of Christopher Otero-Rivera, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Nicole Montalvo.

Angel Rivera was originally charged with being an accessory, tampering with evidence and abuse of a body.



Court hearings in the Nicole Montalvo murder case have been on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, but prosecutors and defense attorneys for the accused killer Otero-Rivera have still been filing motions.

The state asked to have Otero-Rivera’s case consolidated with that of his father.

In their motion prosecutors lay out why they believe the Rivera’s did it, writing “both desired custody of Nicole Montalvo’s son, and that this desire for custody acted as motive for each to commit the crimes with which they are accused.”

The trial has been postponed till at least May.
 

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New evidence released in Nicole Montalvo case

New evidence has been released in the Nicole Montalvo case, the mother whose remains were found buried in a backyard in Osceola County.

On Thursday, the State Attorney’s office released a call Otero-Rivera made in January 2019 during his time in jail to his father Angel Rivera.


(Video/recording of call available at the link)
 

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If you don't want photos like this to be shown in court, maybe don't murder and dismember your wife in the first place?



Jury shouldn’t see ‘horrific’ photos of Nicole Montalvo’s dismembered body without judge’s OK, husband’s attorney says

Jurors shouldn’t be allowed to see “gruesome and horrific” photos showing the dismembered body of slain St. Cloud mother Nicole Montalvo without a judge’s approval because it would be “prejudicial” to the estranged husband accused in her killing, his attorney argued Sunday.

Christopher Otero-Rivera, 32, is charged with second-degree murder, abuse of a dead body and evidence tampering in his wife’s death. His father, 63-year-old Angel Rivera, was also indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the 33-year-old mother’s killing.

Otero-Rivera’s defense attorney, Migdalia Perez, said she believes prosecutors plan to show jurors during the trial “numerous” photos of Montalvo’s partially decomposed corpse, taken at the crime scene, during an autopsy and while being examined by a forensic anthropologist.

“These photographs are also gruesome and horrific in nature,” Perez argued in a motion. “The introduction of said photographs would be extremely inflammatory and prejudicial to [Otero-Rivera].”

Perez said Montalvo’s cause of death and the condition her body was found in will not be the “subject of dispute” at trial, so the photos are not necessary to prove these facts. But they could “distract” the jury and “create an undue prejudice” in their minds, she argued.https://www.orlandosentinel.com/monivette-cordeiro--staff.html
 

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Trial postponed in Nicole Montalvo killing until September

The August trial for Nicole Montalvo’s estranged husband and in-laws was postponed by a judge Tuesday until the end of September amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The three were scheduled to begin trial Aug. 24, but Circuit Judge Jon B. Morgan delayed it to the trial period starting Sept. 29 during a virtual hearing Tuesday.
 

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New interview with jail informant reveals plot to kill mother months before she was slain

Eyewitness News has obtained a new interview that reveals a failed plot to kill an Osceola County mother months before she was actually killed.

A jailhouse informant told prosecutors the two suspects helped him get out of jail, and that one of them asked him to kill Nicole Montalvo.

He said Montalvo’s father-in-law, Angel Rivera, offered him money to make her disappear, so she wouldn’t be able to testify in court against her estranged husband.



In 2019, Christopher Otero-Rivera was facing kidnapping and battery charges of his estranged wife Nicole Montalvo.

Prosecutors believe he had a plan to beat that rap with the help of a cellmate in Osceola County Jail named Dustin Gonzalez.

Two days after a jail phone call between Christopher Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera, Gonzalez told prosecutors that Rivera paid $500 to his dad to post his bond.

In exchange, he claims Otero-Rivera wanted him to discredit Montalvo before she testified him in court by planting drugs.

The plan, according to the jail call, was to plant drugs in her car, and when she went to her son’s school, he would report her to the police.

Once out of jail, Gonzalez said it took an even darker turn when he met Angel Rivera.

“At the time he asked me if it wouldn’t just be easier if I could just make her disappear,” Gonzalez told authorities. “I said, ‘Excuse me?’ And from there he says, “Well, you know it would be easier if she just didn’t come to court period wouldn’t it?” And I said, “Bro, I’m not in that line of work.”
 

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Jury trial for Nicole Montalvo case pushed back to Dec. 14​

In a virtual meeting, Judge Jon B. Morgan announced the jury trial for the Nicole Montalvo case is being pushed back to the Dec. 14 trial period, with a pretrial set to take place Dec. 1. He says although the two events have been postponed a handful of times due to the pandemic, he’s optimistic about these dates.
 

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Defense attorneys ask for evidence in slain Osceola mother case to be thrown out​

It's been one year since an Osceola County mother was reported missing. Thursday afternoon, her accused killers' attorneys attempted to get much of the evidence against them tossed out.


In court motions filed by the defense, they argue statements from the family, cell phone records, and other evidence from the properties should be suppressed.

They say when the sheriff’s office got the first search warrant, it was just a missing person case.

In court Thursday, Otero-Rivera’s lawyer questioned the lead detective about what evidence they had in the beginning to prompt a search.

"Did you locate Nicole Montalvo or any evidence linking to Nicole Montalvo in the main house?" the attorney asked.

To which the detective replied "no." He responded "no" to similar questions about evidence in the trailers and vehicles.

Prosecutors have said Otero-Rivera’s history of violence toward Montalvo and lies from Angel Rivera pointed to criminal activity and prompted the search of the home.
The Riveras are set to go on trial in December.
 

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Judge to decide if evidence in Nicole Montalvo murder case will be thrown out​

“We don’t believe the first search warrant game them authority to search underneath the earth. They didn’t have any evidence that suggests ‘now we need to go below’. I think at that point what happened was they didn’t find evidence of a crime and it became a fishing expedition,” Defense attorney, Migdaia Perez, said.


The judge has yet to make a decision on the evidence but says he will do so by the end of the month.

The Rivera’s are set to go on trial in January.
 

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Judge rejects request to suppress evidence in Nicole Montalvo murder trial​

A judge will allow prosecutors to present crucial evidence in the trial of three family members accused of killing St. Cloud woman Nicole Montalvo, rejecting the arguments of defense attorneys who claimed that the family’s properties were improperly searched.

Other claims made in a Dec. 9 hearing by Otero-Rivera’s lawyers on behalf of the family’s defense teams — including accusations that deputies had manipulated facts to obtain search warrants — were also rejected.
 

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Family members accused in St. Cloud woman’s murder face new charges​

Osceola County prosecutors have filed new charges against two men accused of killing and dismembering a St. Cloud mother, court records show.

Prosecutors say Christopher Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Rivera, killed Nicole Montalvo in October 2019. Rivera’s wife, Wanda Rivera, is charged with accessory after the fact to murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Documents filed Jan. 12 show that prosecutors filed new charges against Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera.

Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera are now charged with second-degree murder without premeditation, abuse of a dead body, tampering with physical evidence, accessory after the fact to a felony of the first degree and giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation.

Both men have entered not guilty pleas to the new charges.

Wanda Rivera also now faces one count of giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation.
 

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Nicole Montalvo killing: Prosecutors drop charges against mother-in-law​

Prosecutors dismissed charges Friday against Wanda Rivera, the mother-in-law of slain St. Cloud woman Nicole Montalvo, following a review of evidence that cast doubt on her role in disposing of Montalvo’s car after the 2019 killing, an assistant state attorney said.

Wanda Rivera, 61, had been accused of accessory after the fact to murder, evidence tampering and providing false information to law enforcement in the 33-year-old woman’s death.

Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams told the Orlando Sentinel that the “interests of justice” were best served by not going forward with the “circumstantial” case against Wanda Rivera. Prosecutors are exploring the option of calling her to testify against her family, but that was not the reason the charges were dismissed, he said.
 

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Jury selection underway in trial against father, son accused of murdering Osceola County mother​

Jury selection began Monday in the trial against a father and son accused of murdering an Osceola County mother.

Channel 9 was told 60 potential jurors will be brought in Monday through Wednesday.


If the jury is selected by Thursday, it is possible the trial could start Friday.

The selection will continue Tuesday, and the judge hopes to have the case in the hands of the jury by April 21.


Judge: Nicole Montalvo trial should wrap up by April 21​

The jury in the Nicole Montalvo murder trial was selected Tuesday after two days of questioning by prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Circuit Judge Keith Carsten told the pool of potential jurors that the trial should wrap up by April 21.
 

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Prosecutors say Nicole Montalvo was killed, mutilated by estranged husband, father-in-law. Defense blames ‘overbearing’ in-law​

A year before she was murdered and dismembered, Nicole Montalvo’s estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, told others he wanted to kill her and said it might be easier if she “just disappeared,” prosecutors said Tuesday.

His father, Angel Rivera, helped him hatch a plan to plant drugs on Montalvo, which they hoped would cause her to lose custody of the couple’s shared 9-year-old son, Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams said during opening statements at the Osceola County Courthouse.

“We will not be able to tell you exactly how Nicole Montalvo died,” Williams told jurors. “... But we are going to present you with overwhelming evidence of who, how and why.”



But Otero-Rivera’s attorney, Kim LaSure, said the state’s case is based “almost exclusively on circumstantial evidence” that only points at one person — Angel Rivera.

“These two gentlemen are tried together, but by no means are they together,” LaSure said about the father and son who sat near each other. “... Angel is the last person to see Nicole Montalvo alive.”

The defense attorney said everyone in Angel Rivera’s home was “scared” of him, including Otero-Rivera. The family’s “overbearing” patriarch treated the couple’s son like his “possession” and was upset Montalvo had refused to let him see his grandchild in the past, LaSure said.

“That made Angel furious — so furious he never forgot what she did,” she said.

Frank Bankowitz, Angel Rivera’s attorney, declined to give an opening statement.
 

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So far, jurors have heard from about a dozen witnesses, including Otero-Rivera’s brother, Nicholas Rivera.

Nicholas Rivera, who is incarcerated after taking a plea deal on multiple child pornography charges, testified he saw his father, Angel Rivera, hosing off a cart outside their home hours after Montalvo went missing.

Law enforcement witnesses testified that blood was found on the cart, which led to them finding a partial DNA profile. It matched Montalvo’s DNA profile, they said.
 

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NICOLE MONTALVO’S MURDER CASE TO CONTINUE MONDAY, PROSECUTION EXPECTED TO REST CASE​

On Friday, Jennifer Nara, the former Orange-Osceola associate medical examiner, testified that she had never seen the level of mutilation that she witnessed with regard to the body of St. Cloud woman Nicole Montalvo, who was murdered in 2019.

Montalvo’s remains were discovered in St. Cloud by law enforcement buried on properties owned by the Rivera family. The body was dismembered then burned, some to the point of charring, according to Nara.

“There were many portions of the bones that were not present,” Nara testified during the trial for Montalvo’s killing. “There were a lot of small, little fragments of them, almost like the bones had been put through a wood chipper.”

The medical examiner wasn’t able to determine how Montalvo actually died because of her body’s condition. The cause of death was listed as “homicidal violence of unspecified means” because she was unable to determine how the St. Cloud mother died due to the condition of the body brought to the medical examiner’s office.

The trial of Montalvo’s estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, and father-in-law, Angel Rivera will continue on Monday at the Osceola County Courthouse. It is expected that the prosecution will present its final witnesses and rest its case on Monday, allowing the defense to take over.
 

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Prosecution, defense rest in Nicole Montalvo murder trial​

Both the prosecution and the defense have now rested their presentation of evidence, according to the judge presiding over the trail of Christopher Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera.

Before the trial of two men accused in the 2019 murder and dismembering of Nicole Montalvo resumed Tuesday, the judge dismissed a juror who he said was found to be sleeping on multiple occasions during the proceedings.

The judge said Juror No. 16 was dismissed from the case and would be replaced by an alternate juror who has been attentive throughout the proceedings.
 

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