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Gov. Ron DeSantis removes Aramis Ayala’s office from slain Osceola County mother case

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that slain Osceola County mother Nicole Montalvo’s murder case will be reassigned to State Attorney Brad King of the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The announcement comes following a public feud between State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson regarding the prosecution of the case.

• “At the end of the day this is not about a particular sheriff or state attorney or governor, this is about Nicole and her memory. She can not speak for herself, so we as Floridians need to make sure justice is done on her behalf,” DeSantis said.

• At the news conference, Montalvo’s brother said he fully supports DeSantis’ decision.

• So far no formal murder charges have been filed in the case, but the sheriff has previously identified her estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, and father-in-law, Angel Rivera, as suspects in the case. Ayala said her office had not been presented enough evidence to file charges yet.

• Montalvo’s dismembered body was found on property owned by the Rivera family.

• “Under the current circumstances, I believe moving the case under State Attorney King’s jurisdiction provides the best chance for the Montalvo family to receive the justice they deserve,” DeSantis said in a news release.

• The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office tweeted its reaction to the announcement Friday afternoon.

• Attorney General Ashley Moody released a statement addressing the news. Moody had originally asked the governor to look into the case, saying she feared tensions between Gibson and Ayala could prevent justice from being served.

“Today, Governor DeSantis took bold action to ensure fair and effective justice in the Nicole Montalvo murder case, and I would like to thank the Governor for taking my request and the concerns of the victim’s family seriously,” she wrote.

• State Attorney Brad King’s office could come to the same conclusion as Ayala’s office, but he there’s a chance they won’t, which is what the Montalvo family is hoping for. The date King needs to file charges by is April 19.

• In a news conference Friday afternoon, Ayala said while she does not believe DeSantis’ executive order was completely factual, she does not plan to fight it. “I stand by the prosecutors in my office who said there should not be an arrest,” she said.

READ: 'I’m not getting involved in feuds’: DeSantis addresses rift over prosecution of slain Osceola mother’s case

Watch DeSantis’ full statement below:

Watch Ayala’s response in full below:

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