Appeals court upholds $350,000 bond set for Osceola man accused in daughter-in-law’s slaying

Motion to overturn bail denied in Fifth District court of appeals

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The man accused in the death of his 33-year-old daughter-in-law will remain held on a $350,000 bail in Osceola County after a motion filed to lower the bond amount was denied in appeals court this week.

Investigators said they found the dismembered remains of Nicole Montalvo in late October near the home her estranged husband shared with his family. She was first reported missing after she didn’t pick up her son from school, leading to a massive search near the St. Cloud property.

Montalvo’s father-in-law, Angel Luis Rivera, was arrested on Oct. 29 on a murder charge in connection with her death. However, on Dec. 5 a judge ruled Rivera could be released from jail on that charge because the state failed to officially file the first-degree murder charge within 33 days of his arrest.

Also on Dec. 5, new charges were filed against Rivera including a felony charge of abusing a dead body and failure to report a death. During his first appearance on those new charges, Judge Wayne Wooten set Rivera’s bail at $350,000. Rivera’s attorney told News 6 the bond amount was unreasonably high for the charges.

Earlier this month, Rivera’s attorney filed a motion to appeal his client’s bond amount.

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“In an obvious effort to assist the state in keeping the petitioner in jail, Judge Wooten set bond on the second-degree felony at $250,000 and on the first-degree misdemeanor at $100,000," according to appeal.

On Friday, the Fifth District Court of Appeal denied that motion to lower the bond amount.

Rivera’s attorney Frank Bankowitz said in an email to News 6 the appeals court “just denied” the motion without an opinion or a reason. He plans to file another bond reduction for his client in January.

Montalvo’s estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, was also arrested on murder charges. Rivera’s mother also faces charges in connection with Montalvo’s death and his brother has been named a person of interest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Otero-Rivera killed his estranged wife in October, then buried her remains all over the family’s property near St Cloud. Investigators said witnesses watched as Otero-Rivera and his father, Rivera, used an excavator, rented by Angel Rivera, in the back of their yard.

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