OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – At an unveiling of a new domestic violence vehicle, Sheriff Russ Gibson says he is waiting on Florida’s governor to make a decision in how Nicole Montalvo’s murder case will be prosecuted and by who.
“I know that he and his office, his legal staff are doing their due diligence to review that, and to make the best decision that he can fro the residents, not just for Osceola County and not just for the Montalvo family, but for the entire 9th district.”
It’s the first time the sheriff has addressed the case since State Attorney Aramis Ayala called the sheriff out for making the arrest of Montalvo’s estranged husband and father-in-law too soon.
“It is my understanding that as we stand here today the sheriff still does not know who actually killed Nicole Montalvo,” Ayala said at the news conference on Jan. 17.
After that news conference, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody stepped in and asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to reassign the case to a new state attorney altogether.
"It is safe to say that the dispute between Sheriff Gibson and state attorney Ayala is now public, personal and appears to acrimonious," Moody wrote in a letter last week.
Gibson made the comments about the case at the unveiling of a new vehicle to bring awareness to domestic violence, but he declined to answer any reporter questions in response to Ayala’s statements, or if he believes he has enough evidence for a conviction.
“We are not going to take any questions regarding that,” Gibson said.
Montalvo’s brother earlier this week issued a statement on behalf of the family that they are terrified by how this played out.
“Recent events have left us terrified that more attention is now being paid to a ‘public spectacle’ rather than bringing Nicole’s killers to justice. We are terrified that those responsible for this vicious and disturbing crime will not be held accountable. We are terrified that Nicole will have died in vain. We are terrified that anyone involved in her death will not only avoid prosecution but will be able to reinsert themselves back into Nicole’s son’s life, back into our family’s lives, and back into our community - more emboldened than ever,” her brother wrote on Facebook.
The family has started a change.org petition to fight to get the law changed to make domestic violence charges a felony.
“With the petition getting so much attention, we’re hoping we can garner more support to create lasting legislative change, as well as organize a march in honor of Nicole’s memory and those we’ve lost to domestic violence,” Edward Montalvo wrote.