A Colorado man accused of killing his friend and burying him in a basement “tomb” has been found guilty, officials say.
Russell Montoya Jr., 39, was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder and tampering with a body in the death of his childhood friend Shane Nelson at a home in Adams County, which is northeast of Denver.
In November 2019, Nelson visited Montoya at his home and an argument began. Montoya fired four shots within about 12 seconds, hitting Nelson in the chest and head and he fell to the kitchen floor, officials say.
Then Montoya devised a plan to hide the body, officials say. He purchased materials at a hardware store to build a “makeshift tomb” under the stairs to his unfinished basement, officials say, and eventually encased Nelson’s body in concrete to cover up the smell.
Five days later, Montoya told his daughter what he had done after she became suspicious of his behavior and the conditions inside his home, officials say. She told the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and a SWAT team executed a search warrant the next day.
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.