Gov. DeSantis says decision to re-assign Montalvo case will happen soon

FOX 35 News caught up with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center to ask him about a recent dispute between the Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson and the State Attorney for the Ninth Circuit Aramis Ayala over a high-profile murder case.  

It’s a race for justice, as time runs out to file formal charges in the murder of 33-year-old Nicole Montalvo, according to letter sent to DeSantis last week by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. Investigators found her dismembered and buried on two different properties belonging to her in-laws in October.

Montalvo's estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, and his father, Angel Rivera, are behind bars following arrests made in the investigation into the woman's death, but neither has been formally charged with murder.  A speedy trial clock is approaching with an April to May deadline.

"It’s under review, so we’ll let you know. We’ll be sure to let you know," the governor responded when we asked about whether the state would intervene.  " I would say we’ll make a decision relatively soon." 

This comes after a feud between Ayala and Gibson, in which Ayala blamed Gibson for making an arrest in the case before securing evidence needed to bring a murder indictment. Gibson reached out to Moody, requesting that the state intervene. Moody told both sides to get along and focus on justice for Montalvo.

"I have alerted the Governor that I believe the ends of justice would be met if he addresses this and the case were reassigned to another circuit. That is something that only the Governor has the power to do."