A Colorado jury found a 33-year-old father guilty of child abuse after his 22-month-old daughter died from ingesting fentanyl.
Colorado 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason’s office announced the conviction of Alonzo Montoya, who was found guilty of child abuse resulting in death, as well as racketeering.
Montoya’s 22-month-old daughter, Aviyana Montoya, died on Jan. 2, 2022, inside her home in Brighton after ingesting 10 times the amount of fentanyl that it would take to kill an adult user, police said.
At about midnight on Jan. 2, the toddler was placed in her crib, the DA’s office said, and no one checked on her for 14 hours.
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When Aviyana’s parents finally went to check on her, she was unresponsive, and when paramedics arrived, they pronounced her dead at the scene.
An investigation conducted by the Brighton Police Department and North Metro Task Force found Alonzo Montoya was running drugs out of his home, and video surveillance captured drug dealing and drug usage at the residence, before, during and after his daughter’s death.
Police said on the night of Aviyana’s death, surveillance showed the toddler in the master bedroom and playing on a bed where individuals were using drugs.
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Police also said the toddler was placing objects in and around her mouth as she was teething.
Montoya was indicted by an Adams County Grand Jury on Sept. 22, 2022 on charges of first-degree murder, pattern of racketeering, conspiracy to commit a pattern of racketeering, child abuse resulting in death, child abuse involving exposure of controlled substance manufacturing activities, and child abuse in connection with another child of his.
On Dec. 11, 2022, though, a county judge dismissed the murder charge, claiming Montoya did not “knowingly” kill the toddler.
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Still, Montoya’s trial commenced and on Jan. 8, 2024, a jury listened to testimony from police officers, members of the task force, toxicology experts and doctors before deliberating for two days and finding him guilty on all remaining charges.
“This defendant ran a large-scale drug operation while two children were present and now one of them is dead,” Mason said. “This helpless child – who was teething at the time of her death – ingested fentanyl, which the defendant was selling, and had prolonged exposure to methamphetamines and other dangerous narcotics. It is one of the most outrageous cases I have seen.
“My heart breaks for this little girl, who truly never had a chance,” the DA added.
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Montoya is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4.
Aviyana’s mother, 32-year-old Nicole Casias, was also indicted on the same charges and is set to go to trial on March 11.