Colo. Man Convicted of Murder After Killing His Friend Then Hiding His Body Inside Makeshift Tomb 

“He had a heart of gold and gave it freely,” the family of Shane Nelson, who was killed by Russell Montoya Jr., said of the late Colorado man

Russell Montoya Jr. Photo: Adams County Sheriff's Office

A Colorado man 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 visited the home of his childhood friend Russell Montoya Jr. on Nov 8, 2019, when Montoya "fired four shots over the course of approximately 12 seconds" at Nelson following a verbal altercation, the Adams County District Attorney's Office revealed in a press release. The victim, age 38, died at the scene.

Days after Nelson's murder Montoya covered his childhood friend's body in concrete and "created a makeshift tomb under the stairs of his unfinished basement," according to the DA's office.

"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."

Shane Michael Nelson

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 perpetrator received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder charge and 12 years for tampering with Nelson's body.

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Nelson left behind four children, a GoFundMe page created to help support his family revealed.

The electrical worker's family described him as smart, athletic, a lover of music and a supportive person.

"He always took the time to encourage his family and friends to be what they wanted to be and to follow their dreams. He had a heart of gold and gave it freely. He would give you anything that he had, even if that meant he was left with nothing. He always saw the good in people. He stood up for what he believed in even if that meant he was standing alone," Nelson's family wrote.

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