Osceola County

Letter to governor: Osceola County sheriff says state attorney’s stance on death penalty led to ‘inaction’ in slain mother case

Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson told the governor in a letter that the state attorney was letting her view on the death penalty impact her handling the case of slain mother Nicole Montalvo.

In the letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, dated Jan. 29, Gibson writes that the “inaction” by State Attorney Aramic Ayala’s office to file murder charges on the two men suspected in the murder case was due to Ayala’s “desire to advance her position against the penalty.”

Read: 'Our goal is to bring justice to Nicole Montalvo’: Osceola County sheriff responds to Florida attorney general’s letter

Ayala previously said she was not filing first-degree murder charges against the two men -- Montalvo’s estranged husband Christopher Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Rivera -- because of a lack of evidence.

In 2017, Ayala announced that she opposed the death penalty.

The sheriff and state attorney have already been in a bitter public battle over the handling of the case.

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

Neither Otera-Rivera or Rivera have been formally charged for the murder of Montalvo, who was found in pieces at their Osceola County home.

Gibson told DeSantis he felt there was more to her decision not to file, writing “prosecutors all over the state have secured convictions for murder without knowing the manner of death.”

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.