January 11, 2023
State of Florida v. Julio C. Rivera
Case Number: 2019 103051 CFDL
Rivera Convicted of Murdering Friend in DeBary Storage Unit, Faces Death
DAYTONA BEACH – After a four-day trial this evening, a Volusia County jury of four men and eight women found defendant Julio Rivera guilty as charged of First-Degree Murder and Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon.
On December 8, 2019, Rivera’s childhood friend Roberto Ovalle visited him at the DeBary storage unit that Ovalle rented and let the defendant stay in. Eventually, Rivera, who felt disrespected by his friend, pulled out a gun and shot Ovalle in the back of the head.
The victim’s girlfriend witnessed the murder and reported it to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office. The defendant left the scene but came back while detectives were there investigating and was taken into custody.
After his arrest, Rivera admitted in a recorded jailhouse phone call that he had snapped and killed the victim.
The defendant had only been in Volusia County for six weeks before the murder.
The case was investigated by the Volusia Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Heatha Trigones and Chief of Homicide Jason Lewis successfully tried the case for the state. The Honorable Elizabeth Blackburn presided over the case and will pronounce sentence at the conclusion of the penalty phase, which begins next Tuesday, January 16, 2024.
For more information contact:
Haley Harrison | Multimedia Specialist/PIO | Office of State Attorney R.J. Larizza, Florida's Seventh Judicial Circuit | SAOPIO@SAO7.org