Closing arguments to start Wednesday in Montalvo murder trial

Closing arguments to start Wednesday in Montalvo murder trial

Video Transcript

BOB HAZEN: Prosecutors rested their case, and then the defense took over. But for the father, Angel Rivera, it's almost like a second prosecution.

JOHNNY MEDINA: Sorry for my words. He said he wanted to kill that [BLEEP] plenty of times.

BOB HAZEN: Johnny Medina was an inmate at the Osceola County Jail with Christopher Otero-Rivera, who'd been arrested in 2018, accused of beating his estranged wife Nicole Montalvo. That was a year before Montalvo was killed, her remains later found dismembered and buried on two properties owned by the Rivera family. But Medina and another inmate testified that Christopher and his father, Angel Rivera, had already been talking about and plotting to kill her.

JOHNNY MEDINA: I just remember something about a ping pong ball with some fluid, in regards to putting it in the gas tank, and that would blow up the car. And something about lime juice to decompose of a dead body.

BOB HAZEN: Defense attorneys suggested the men came forward so they could get leniency in their own criminal cases. Prosecutors then rested their case. Defense attorneys took over, calling first Wanda Rivera, Chris's mother and Angel's wife. Otero-Rivera's attorneys, though, have signaled their strategy is to shift blame toward his father. They asked Wanda Rivera about why Montalvo's driver's license was found in Angel's dresser.

- Did anyone else share that dresser with Angel?

WANDA RIVERA: No.

BOB HAZEN: Both the father and son told the judge they don't plan to testify in their own defense. Reporting at the Osceola County Courthouse, Bob Hazen, WESH 2 News.