OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The estranged husband and father-in-law of slain St. Cloud mother Nicole Montalvo were sentenced to life in prison Wednesday.
What You Need To Know
- Estranged husband Christopher Otero-Rivera and his father Angel Rivera got life in prison
- Nicole Montalvo's body was found in 2019
Christopher Otero-Rivera, Nicole Montalvo’s estranged husband and Angel Rivera, her father-in-law, were found guilty of second-degree murder, abuse of a dead body and tampering with physical evidence back in April.
Prosecutors argued that the father and son duo killed, dismembered and buried Montalvo back in 2019.
SENTENCING for both Christopher Otero-Rivera & Angel Rivera:— Stephanie Bechara (@BecharaReports) July 21, 2021
Count 1- Life in prison
Count 2- 15 years
Count 3- 5 years
They each have 30 days to appeal. @MyNews13 #News13Osceola #NicoleMontalvo #AngelRivera #ChristopherOteroRivera #BreakingNews pic.twitter.com/doLGuPkI8n
They say it was all to get custody of Montalvo’s son, 9-year-old Elijah.
Montalvo’s siblings gave victim impact statements before sentencing, calling what happened to her domestic violence. The sentence was one they were happy with.
"I too am a victim of the Rivera family and their brutality," said Montalvo's twin brother Edward. "We are all victims of their ongoing domestic abuse… How terrible they were to my sister and her son, Elijah."
"When people say what happened to your sister, I say it was domestic violence," sister Christina Montalvo said. "It pains me to say that she was murdered by her estranged husband and his father, I still have a hard time saying it.”
Montalvo family speaks after sentencing: Looking at those pictures of my sister… No own should ever have to go through this. We just wanna get closure. @MyNews13 #News13Osceola #NicoleMontalvo #AngelRivera #ChristopherOteroRivera pic.twitter.com/4Vpri7pTCb— Stephanie Bechara (@BecharaReports) July 21, 2021
Christina Montalvo says she still deals with mental health issues from her sister's death, and she doesn't know if closure will ever happen. Right now the family says they are prioritizing taking care of Nicole's son, and they feel justice has been served.
“The community knows exactly how to remember Nicole because she was an energy for it and an energy for so many people. Such a positive light,” said Edward Montalvo.
Prosecutor Ryan Williams:— Stephanie Bechara (@BecharaReports) July 21, 2021
I am just relieved and I hope they can start to move on even if they can’t move past losing their loved one. We can’t bring Nicole Montalvo back. But justice has been served. @MyNews13 #News13Osceola #NicoleMontalvo #AngelRivera #ChristopherOteroRivera pic.twitter.com/C1UxLpmnE7
Meanwhile, the attorneys for Otero-Rivera and Rivera say they will appeal their clients' sentences.
Otero-Rivera's attorney was still trying to sow doubt about whether he actually committed the murder during the sentencing hearing, telling the judge that while there was little doubt of his participation in the crime, we still don't know who actually committeed the murder.
The minimum sentence the two men could get was about 23 years. The attorneys were hoping to avoid the life sentence. They have 30 days to file the necessary paperwork.