Chief Assistant State Attorney Receives 2023 Eugene Berry Award

Chief Assistant State Attorney Richard “Rich” Montecalvo has been named the 2023 Eugene Berry Award Recipient. Mr. Montecalvo has been a prosecutor for more than 30 years in the 20th Judicial Circuit. He has been the Chief Assistant State Attorney, assisting State Attorney Amira Fox in leading the office, since she took office in 2019. The Eugene Berry Award is presented to an Assistant State Attorney for their outstanding prosecutorial service by the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

Mr. Montecalvo started as a misdemeanor attorney in Lee County in 1994 and eventually became the Chief of the Collier County Office, where he successfully served for many years prior to being named Chief Assistant State Attorney.

Mr. Montecalvo does extensive work in his role at the State Attorney’s Office and his work extends into the community. Among the many things he handles, he assists with all grand jury proceedings throughout the circuit, regularly appears before the Florida Commission on Offender Review, and oversees executive assignment requests.

“Rich Montecalvo, deserves this recognition. I am proud to work alongside of him and to see firsthand, his incredible positive impact on our office. He regularly gives guidance to prosecutors, heads our hiring committee, and continues to prosecute major cases that require a prosecutor with his experience and skill level,” said State Attorney Fox.

Mr. Montecalvo most recently tried a first-degree murder case involving a librarian murdered outside of the Fort Myers Beach Library. He also prosecuted Lois Riess, who murdered her husband in Minnesota and a woman in Lee County. Additionally, he was successful in obtaining 6 death sentences against Mesac Damas, who murdered his wife and 5 children.

Mr. Montecalvo is also active in numerous justice related community activities and organizations including JNC Chair and past president of the Collier Bar Association.

The award Mr. Montecalvo received is named for Assistant State Attorney Eugene “Gene” Berry who was shot and killed at his Charlotte County home on January 16, 1982. He was murdered when he answered his door, by the wife of a man Berry prosecuted on drug charges. Berry, who had worked in our Charlotte County office and was also office head, was the first active prosecutor murdered in the 20th Judicial Circuit. He was 46 years old.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office