Defense asking that major evidence be thrown out in Montalvo murder case

The lawyers for Christopher Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Rivera, are asking that a big bulk of the state’s evidence against them be thrown out. 

The father and son are charged with second-degree murder in the death of Otero-Rivera’s estranged wife, Nicole Montalvo.  Investigators said the two men murdered Montalvo then mutilated her, spreading pieces of her remains over two properties the family owns. 

“Illegality, that flows from the first flows to the second and flows to the third [inaudible] there for everything gets suppressed,” defense attorney Migdalia Perez told Judge John Morgan in court Wednesday. 

RELATED: New evidence released in Nicole Montalvo murder investigation

She claimed investigators' searches were outside of the scope of their warrants. She also accused investigators of being intentionally vague, leaving out details in applying for warrants to mislead the judge. 

“What they did on the second warrant, here’s the deception again, they added excavation…but they didn’t tell the judge, by the way, we already started excavating,” Perez said.

Prosecutors said the defense’s claims are untrue. 

“This was in exigency.  This was an emergency.  If they’re trying to fool someone, why is it the things they left out would have helped them?” the prosecutor argued.

While Montalvo was considered a missing person early in the investigation, deputies and her family feared she had been kidnapped, especially after seeing a text that Angel Rivera claimed Montalvo sent him while investigators were looking for her. 

“He showed it to me and I said that is absolutely not Nicole,” Elaine Montalvo, Nicole’s mother testified. 

Both sides agree that the property where her estranged husband lived belonged to his parents and was the last place Montalvo had been seen.  Adding to investigators' concerns, at the time Nicole disappeared, Otero-Rivera was still wearing a court-ordered GPS monitoring device after an incident in which he allegedly kidnapped and battered Montalvo. 

“Now you arrive at Mr. Rivera’s property, you’ve got a hole covered up, clearly covered up, and saying officers don’t have the right to dig a hole looking for blood or bodily fluid,” the prosecutor argued.

After listening to arguments from both sides, Judge Jon Morgan said that he would do his best to make a ruling before the end of the year.

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