Father of 10-month-old Marion Montoya speaks out after Trevor Rowe’s conviction

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Trevor Rowe pleaded guilty to capital murder on Friday morning.

The courtroom was full of family members for both Montoya and Rowe. Judge Willaim Eichman acknowledged the emotions of the room before he sentenced Rowe to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, that guilty plea was bittersweet for Marion’s father.

Emilio Montoya said, “It is my job to forgive and God’s to judge.”

Justice finally served, three years after Marion Montoya was stuffed into a backpack for hours. On Monday, Emilio finally had the chance to face the man who murdered his daughter, who was once a close friend.

“He was crying as I was talking to him and we never broke eye contact,” Montoya said.

Emilio says Rowe was someone he trusted, and even after the betrayal and a guilty plea, he still has forgiveness in his heart.

“I will never truly just hate him because there were good times along with what’s happened today,” Montoya said.

Although Emilio has found it in his heart to forgive Rowe, he says he will always wonder why Rowe did this to Marion.

“That curiosity makes me want to say...as a friend, can’t you just tell me what exactly happened that day,” Montoya said.

Now that Rowe will spend the rest of his life behind bars, Emilio and his mother Sheliah say they will focus on keeping Marion’s memory alive.

“I still hold on to her ashes right here, and I will always keep them with me during any big events or if anything comes up. I will always remember her laughing and smiling,” Montoya said.

Trevor Rowe will be transported to Huntsville where he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.