Man who killed friend, hid body in basement tomb sentenced to life in prison

Local News

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo (KDVR) — A man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury convicted him of first degree murder for killing his friend in November 2019.

After a four day trial – a jury returned a guilty verdict against 38-year-old Russell Montoya for killing Shane Nelson. Investigators say Nelson was visiting Montoya at his home when an argument started. During the argument, Montoya pulled a gun on Nelson and fired four shots directly at Nelson. He was hit by three of them and later died.

Shane Nelson

After the shooting – Montoya used materials from a hardware store to create a homemade tomb under the stairs of his unfinished basement. He encased Nelson’s remains in concrete to try to mask the odor.

A few days later, Montoya told one of his daughters about the shooting after she raised concerns about his behavior and the condition of his home. She notified the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and one day later, a SWAT team executed a search warrant at his home which is when Montoya was arrested and the tomb containing Nelson’s body was discovered.

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“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.”

Montoya received a life sentence for the murder charge and a 12 year sentence for body tampering charges. He will not be eligible for parole.

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