Gov. Ron DeSantis comments on Montalvo case during news conference

Gov. DeSantis has been in contact with victim’s family

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives plan for second year in office
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives plan for second year in office

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – During a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis made brief remarks on Nicole Montalvo’s murder case after Attorney General Ashley Moody wrote a letter to him, asking that her office take over the prosecution in the case.

DeSantis said his office was reviewing the case and that he has been in contact with Montalvo’s brothers.

“We have a lot of focus on the criminal but don’t always have a focus on the victims,” DeSantis said.

The governor urged that there is no timeframe of when -- or if -- the case will go to another prosecutor.

“We’re taking it very seriously,” he said. “I don’t want it to take forever. I don’t want to take any shortcuts."

The questions come amid a dispute between Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson.

During a news conference earlier this month, Ayala pushed back against the sheriff in response to questions about why murder charges have not been officially filed against Christopher Otero-Rivera, and his father, Angel Rivera. The two men are accused of killing Montalvo, a 33-year-old St. Cloud mother, in October.

After that news conference, Moody stepped in and asked DeSantis to reassign the case to a new state attorney altogether.