BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) — Thirty-nine-year-old Russell Montoya, Jr., was convicted and sentenced Thursday of shooting a friend and hiding the body in a concrete tomb he built underneath his basement stairwell. Shane Nelson, described to police as a friend of 25 years to Montoya, was shot twice in the chest and once in the head during an argument between the two men on Nov. 8, 2019. Nelson died on Montoya’s kitchen floor.
According to facts established during the trial in Adams County District Court, Montoya purchased construction materials at a local hardware in the days after the shooting. He fully encased Nelson’s body in concrete and, per prosecutors, attempted to mask the smell.READ MORE: Body Found In Concrete In Adams County Apartment; Homicide Suspect Russell Montoya Jr. Arrested
It didn’t work.
According to court documents obtained by CBS4 after his arrest, Montoya’s daughter returned to their home in the 7800 block of York Street the morning after the incident. She told investigators she walked down the stairs into the basement and was met with an overpowering “horrible” and indescribable odor.
Days later, the daughter saw a social media post reporting Nelson’s disappearance. She also noticed a concrete wall in the basement laundry room appeared freshly poured, as stated in the arrest affidavit.READ MORE: Body-In-Concrete Case: Russell Montoya Jr. Charged With 1st Degree Murder
When she confronted her father with her suspicions, he confessed.
But when his daughter quizzed him about calling the police, Montoya promised to “keep Shane company” and never leave the house, even if that resulted in a shootout with police.
She called anyhow, and a SWAT team executed a search warrant on Nov. 14, 2019 six days after the shooting.
“The gruesome nature of this crime is beyond words,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “I’m grateful to the jury for enduring through the presentation of the evidence and for returning a just verdict.”
The trial lasted four days. Montoya was immediately sentenced after the verdict was read. He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 1st Degree Murder charge. Montoya was also found guilty of Tampering with a Deceased Human Body and an additional 12 years was tacked on as a result.