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DeSantis Pulls High-Profile Murder Case From Orlando State Attorney

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration.
Renata Sago

Governor Ron DeSantis has pulled another high-profile murder case from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala. He cited her objections to the death penalty as the prime reason.

Ayala and Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson are at odds over her decision not file criminal charges against two suspects in the October murder of Nicole Montalvo. The 33-year-old mother, was dismembered and her remains were found on two properties in Osceola County.

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office says criminal charges “could be filed” against Christopher Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera.

Gibson asked DeSantis to reassign the case to a different state attorney. The governor reassigned the case to Ocala-area State Attorney Brad King.

This is not the first time Ayala has been yanked from a murder case. In March 2017, former Gov. Rick Scott removed her from handling capital cases, which were reassigned to King.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.