OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A man accused of murdering his daughter-in-law is set to appear in court Thursday afternoon on a new charge related to the case.
Angel Luis Rivera is scheduled to have a first court appearance in Osceola County at 1 p.m. on a charge of abuse of a dead body. The State Attorney’s Office filed the new charge late Wednesday afternoon.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has already arrested Rivera for first degree murder in the killing of Nicole Montalvo. Investigators found the Osceola County mom’s remains on Rivera’s property in October.
During a motion hearing Thursday morning, the judge released him on his own recognizance on the murder charge for Nicole Montalvo. But he’s still being held on abuse of a dead body charge. Rivera will have a first court appearance on that charge at 1:00 p.m. The judge is also unsealing the arrest affidavit.
His attorney Frank Bankowitz said it has been more than 30 days and prosecutors have not formally charged his client in Montalvo’s murder.
Rivera’s son, Christopher Otero-Rivera, was also arrested for first degree murder in Montalvo’s case but has so far avoided being charged with murder on the same grounds. Otero-Rivera is being held in jail without bond on a violation of probation charge.
Bankowitz said he does not know why prosecutors have not filed formal charges against his client and he cannot get to the court file because it is sealed. “It’s got to be because it’s an on-going investigation process,” Bankowitz said. “Possibly other people are going to be charged, maybe there’s other people mentioned in it. I don’t know.”
Bankowitz said he plans on asking the judge to completely unseal the case files or at least unseal them for attorneys “for purposes of proper preparation and preservation of our client’s rights.”
“It makes our job more difficult because it’s kind of like trial by surprise,” Bankowitz said “You know, we go in there [Thursday] and the state starts arguing facts that I don’t have or haven’t been available to me. It’s trial by surprise and the Florida rules of criminal procedure specifically prohibit that.”
Rivera is also facing a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge with bond set at $10,000.