A Colorado man accused of killing his friend and burying him in a makeshift tomb has been found guilty, KUSA reports.
Russell Montoya Jr., 39, was convicted on Thursday of first-degree murder and tampering with a deceased human body in connection with the death of his childhood friend, Shane Nelson, 38, according to a release from the Adams County District Attorney’s Office.
On November 8, 2019, Nelson visited the home of Montoya in Adams County where the two men got into a verbal altercation. During the argument, Montoya brandished a handgun and fired four shots over the course of approximately 12 seconds. Two of the shots struck Nelson in the chest and one in the head. Nelson fell to the kitchen floor where he later died.
According to court documents, Montoya devised a plan to hide the body, purchasing materials at a hardware store to build a “makeshift tomb” under the stairs of his unfinished basement, and eventually encased Nelson’s corpse in concrete to cover up the smell. Montoya confessed to the murder to one of his daughters days after burying his friend. She then alerted police leading to his arrest on Nov. 14, 2019.
“The gruesome nature of this crime is beyond words,” District Attorney Brian Mason said. “I’m grateful to the jury for enduring through the presentation of the evidence and for returning a just verdict.”
Montoya was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the murder charge and a 12-year sentence on the tampering charge