Grand Jury Indicts Parents of Brighton Toddler Who Died of Fentanyl Poisoning on Murder, COCCA Charges
September 22, 2022
Brighton, CO —Today, District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the Grand Jury indictment of Alonzo Montoya, 31, and Nicole Casias, 31, on First-Degree Murder and Colorado Organized Crime Control Act charges related to alleged conduct between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.
The defendants' one-year-old daughter died from fentanyl poisoning on January 2, 2022. Montoya and Casias are alleged to have participated in a drug-trafficking enterprise before, during, and after their child's death.
The Grand Jury investigated and reviewed evidence provided by the North Metro Drug Task Force, the Brighton Police Department, and the District Attorney's Office. The Grand Jury deliberated and issued a True Bill on Thursday, September 8, 2022, and the 17th Judicial District Chief Judge certified it on Friday, September 9, 2022. The District Attorney’s Office filed the cases in Adams County District Court on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. The new case numbers are 22CR2642 (Montoya) and 22CR2648 (Casias).
The 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office originally charged Montoya and Casias with Child Abuse Resulting in Death (F2) and Distribution of a Controlled Substance--Schedule I or Schedule II (DF3) in Adams County District Court on March 30, 2022, related to their daughter's death. In light of the Grand Jury indictment, the original cases (2022CR986 and 2022CR992) were dismissed. Both defendants are in custody in Adams County.
Montoya and Casias' new charges are:
First-Degree Murder--Victim Under 12--Position of Trust (F1)
District Attorney Brian Mason will host a press briefing regarding this indictment. Although DA Mason will be taking questions, please be aware that, due to the open and pending nature of these cases, he will be limited in the information he can divulge at this time.
Press Briefing Regarding Grand Jury Indictment
District Attorney Brian Mason
Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 2:00pm
17th Judicial District Attorney's Office
1000 Judicial Center Drive
Brighton, CO, 80601
Media wishing to cover this event are asked to please RSVP to Chris Hopper, Director of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual(s) committed a crime(s) under Colorado laws. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo RPC 3.6.
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District Attorney Mason assumed the oath of office on January 12, 2021. The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office endeavors to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Adams and Broomfield counties in felony and misdemeanor cases. DA Mason and his staff are dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system to better serve the citizens of the 17th Judicial District.
Ms. Gazelka is a forensic therapist and clinician in Denver, Colorado. She is currently focused on providing therapy and assessment services to adult offenders in the community corrections and parole systems as a supervisor at Correctional Psychology Associates (CPA). Her education and career have been devoted to the intersection of psychology and law since 2000. Ms. Gazelka has been working within the field of forensic and correctional psychology since 2006, providing therapy in the community and acute mental health care and risk assessments in county jails. She has practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor since June 2012. She also became a Licensed Addiction Counselor in March 2014. She was listed as a full operating level DVOMB Approved Provider in June 2019 and started a fledgling DV program oriented to Colorado’s Department of Corrections at CPA in September 2019. Ms. Gazelka was appointed to the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) in March 2019 and has started her second term with the board. Ms. Gazelka has been recognized for her work as Contributor of the Year at CPA in 2010 and 2012, as well as having been awarded an Alumni Impact Award for her forensic work in the community by University of Denver’s GSPP in 2019. Ms. Gazelka received her Master of Arts degree in Forensic Clinical Psychology from University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology in 2009. Ms. Gazelka also received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007, obtaining attorney’s licenses in both Minnesota and Colorado (currently inactive).
Alex Castro Croy
Alex Castro Croy is a bilingual, bicultural, Trauma and Addiction Counselor and owner/Lead Clinician of Life Recovery Centers in Denver and Northglenn Colorado.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico who accomplished his dream in higher education receiving an AA in Pastoral Ministry (Dallas, Texas), Bachelor of Science in Human Services (MSU in Denver, Colorado) and MA in Community Counseling from Regis University (Denver, Co). He is continuing to pursue his MA/Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.
Alex’s passion includes training, teaching, counseling, and consulting. He has been an Adjunct Professor for the Human Services Department at MSU-Denver for 9 years. He has served as an Interventionist for the Latino GLBTQ community, Drug Court Probation Officer at Denver Juvenile Court Probation (8 years), Bilingual Diversion Officer for Denver DA office (5 years), and currently owner and director of Life Recovery Centers (7 years). He has worked with a variety of clients from all walks of life and his eclectic therapeutic interventions have proven to be effective in treating trauma and addiction.
Thea Wessel is an addictions counselor with a private practice in Colorado. She has been working in the criminal and addiction fields for thirteen years. Ms. Wessel earned her Masters in forensic psychology from the University of Denver and has her LPC, LAC, MAC, NCAAC, and ADS. She is working towards her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Ms. Wessel continually challenges herself and others to provide quality addiction treatment and ways to continue to educate the community about addiction issues.