OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — A Circuit Court judge is considering the possibility of throwing out evidence in a high-profile case within Osceola County.
What You Need To Know
- Judge considering defense's request to throw out some evidence in murder case
- The evidence was sought in the death and dismemberment of Nicole Montalvo
- Lawyers say some evidence gathered by police exceeded search warrant
- Circuit Judge Jon Morgan is expected to rule on the request before end of the year
The defense team for Christopher Otero-Rivera and Angel Rivera told Judge Jon Morgan, who is overseeing the trial of the men in connection with the death of Nicole Montalvo, that police went beyond the scope of their search warrant and that therefore some of the evidence found at the crime scene (the Rivera home near St. Cloud) should be suppressed.
Otera-Rivera, the estranged husband of Montalvo, and Rivera, Montalvo’s father-in-law, are charged in connection with her death and dismemberment.
The state maintains that officers acted in a constitutional way because they had reason to believe Montalvo’s life was in danger.
“You can’t break the law to enforce the law,” defense attorney Migdalia Perez said. “The state is basically telling you to forget about the Fourth Amendment. We had someone missing. They had a right to go in there. No, they didn’t. They have to establish that they had probable cause, and they didn’t do that.”
The Fourth Amendment is the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures.
“Evidence seized pursuant to the warrant should not be suppressed based on the bald, bare, unproven allegations made in defense’s motion that law enforcement lied and left things out,” Jamie McManus said. “… None of that was proven.”
The judge said he will enter his ruling either granting or denying the motion to suppress the evidence by the end of the month. A decision to suppress could severely damage the case.
The trial is tentatively scheduled to begin January 25.