OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Two men who were convicted in April for the 2019 murder of Nicole Montalvo, 33, have been sentenced to life in prison.
Christopher Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera were sentenced Wednesday morning after they were were found guilty of second-degree murder, abuse of a dead human body and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Montalvo, Otero-Rivera’s estranged wife.
The judge sentenced the two to life in prison for second-degree murder and for the two other counts, the two were given sentences of 15 years and 5 years. Before delivering the sentence, the judge said he could not “ignore the brutality” and the pain the murder brought to the family as they searched for Nicole Montalvo in 2019.
Breakdown of the sentencing for both Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera— Lauren Cervantes (@LaurenNews6) July 21, 2021
Count 1: second-degree murder— sentenced to life in prison. Count 2: guilty of abuse of a dead human body— sentenced to 15 years in DOC
Count 3: guilty of tampering with physical evidence— 5 years in DOC
At the time the verdict was given in the trial, prosecutor Ryan Williams said both men were eligible for life in prison.
Several family members of Nicole Montalvo spoke ahead of the sentencing, describing the pain and loss experienced with her death. Christina Montalvo, her sister, said she feels a sense of closure “slowly coming in,” but she said she does not know if that will ever happen.
“When people ask me what happened to Nicole, I always said she passed away from an act of domestic violence,” Christina Montalvo said. “It physically pains me to say my sister was murdered by her estranged husband ... and his father.”
Nicole Montalvo’s twin brother shared his statement, saying “we are all victims to their ongoing domestic abuse.” One of Nicole Montalvo’s other brothers also spoke, reiterating how his sister should be here and that “a little piece” of the family died with her.
“She’ll never get to express the pain she feels, the pain that she felt, what she went through, everything that she had to endure, she should be the one speaking today,” her brother, Steven Montalvo, said.
Montalvo was reported missing in October 2019 after she failed to pick up her 8-year-old son from school. Her dismembered remains were later found buried on property owned by the Riveras. Otero-Rivera and Nicole Montalvo had a son together, but they were separated at the time of her death. The two were going through a divorce when she dropped their son off at her father-in-law’s house.
The prosecution said during closing arguments that the evidence proved the two men were guilty while the defense said that if Nicole Montalvo had been murdered on the Riveras’ property on Hixon Avenue in St. Cloud, more blood would have been found.
After the guilty verdict earlier this year, Montalvo’s brother said justice was served but at the end of the day, the heartbreaking truth is that their siblings still don’t have their sister and her son still doesn’t have his mother.