VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Following three days of testimony and evidence from the prosecution, the defense rested Thursday without presenting any evidence or witnesses in the murder case of Lamont Johnson.
He is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Bellamy Gamboa. Her body was never found, but police said Johnson admitted to strangling her in the townhouse they shared off Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach.
Gamboa was never heard from after July 1, 2018.
The confession was part of a marathon interrogation in late July 2018, four weeks after Gamboa turned up missing. On Thursday, the jury saw a video that followed that interrogation.
Johnson led the detectives to a dumpster behind a Pizza Hut off S. Military Highway. In the video, He showed them how he removed boxes and bags from the dumpster and then placed Gamboa‘s body inside it. Her body was never found. The dumpster was picked up and taken to the Wheelabrator transfer station in Portsmouth likely about two days after Johnson dumped Gamboa‘s body inside it.
The jury once again heard a recorded argument between Gamboa and Johnson in which they argued over rent and traded expletives. They also heard of another heated conversation, just three days before Gamboa disappeared, in which she said “you’re gonna be able to kill me and get away with it.”
Johnson told the detectives that he took Gamboa‘s 2015 Ford Focus to an apartment complex a couple of miles away from where she lived, and then walked home in the middle of the night. Video from a Newtown Road Shell station shows Johnson walking through the parking lot along the route.
A tow truck driver noticed that the car didn’t belong at the complex on Pickering Street in Bayside, towed it, and police tracked it down and searched it. They found Gamboa‘s personal belongings including her license and credit cards in the center console.
A search of trash from Gamboa’s apartment complex turned up the keys to her car. One of Johnson‘s interrogators, Detective Andre Jerry, talked about how Johnson confessed to them that he had strangled Gamboa after she fell down the steps of their townhouse while holding one of their twin children. Jerry testified that later during their questioning, Johnson told detectives he was sorry for lying to them during the interrogation, but he never expressed remorse about strangling Gamboa.
Judge James Lewis will give the jury instructions Friday morning beginning at 9 a.m., followed by closing arguments and then the jury will begin deliberations.
If Johnson is found guilty of second-degree murder, he will face from five to 40 years in prison.