Attorneys for man who admitted to killing Bellamy Gamboa seek to have confession thrown out

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — The man who admitted to killing a Virginia Beach mother in 2018 is hoping his confession will be thrown out ahead of his trial.

Lamont Johnson appeared in court Monday for a motion hearing. His lawyers are claiming there was a coercive environment from law enforcement that led to the confession. Back in 2018 Lamont Johnson allegedly admitted to choking, the mother of his twins, Bellamy Gamboa, until she was dead then putting her in trash bags and putting her body in a Chesapeake dumpster.

But now, his defense attorneys are trying to throw that confession out ahead of the murder trial. 
Bellamy’s sister, Charisse Gamboa says they don’t know what the outcome will be.

“We don’t know and even our prosecutor says when it goes to trial, we just don’t know what happens,” said Charisse.

Johnson admitted to killing Bellamy Gamboa back in July 2018, after the mother of four disappeared from her home on Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach.

Johnson was charged with second-degree murder after he confessed to pushing Gamboa down a flight of stairs and choking her to death. Investigators did not find her body.

Court documents for the motion to suppress say police gave Johnson 15 breaks to smoke, eat, drink, and go to the bathroom throughout the interrogation process. 

‘He snapped’: Confessed killer’s brother wonders what triggered Bellamy Gamboa’s murder

Detectives also say they never raised their voices, lied, or had guns displayed while questioning. 
But the defense claims Johnson told police “I don’t have anything else to say, man” at some point during the interrogation in an attempt to exercise his right to remain silent. 

At Monday’s suppression hearing, detective, Lanis Geluso, testified on the stand. 

Geluso explained the case turned suspicious after she discovered searches on his cell phone of “where does my trash go?”

Geluso said over 3 days, police and civilians spent over 3,000 hours of manpower searching for Gamboa.
She said they also went through 9 dumpsters and the Suffolk landfill by hand. 

Geluso said on July 10, Bellamy’s car keys were found in a garbage bag at the Virginia Beach apartment complex where Johnson and Gamboa lived together and raise their then-20-month-old twins.

Geluso also went into specific details about what exactly Johnson told her that day he admitted to killing her. 

Geluso says Johnson says they were arguing when he pushed her down the stairs. He allegedly told her, in the process, he accidentally tripped over a hamper on top of her. He allegedly says Gamboa got her phone and said she was going to call the police.

He then chokes her until she stops breathing. Geluso says at that point Johnson said he put a trash bag over her head and feet, wrapped her body in a comforter, and tied her up with an ethernet cable.

He allegedly waits for the babies to go to sleep then runs to 7-11 to get gas and a drink. When he gets back to the apartment, he allegedly backs into the spot and takes out the spare tire. Then, he carried her sideways and put her into the trunk. From there, he takes her to Chesapeake and puts her body in a dumpster behind a shopping center complex.

Following this, Geluso said he admitted to grabbing Gamboa’s bag, putting clothes into it, her wallet, and cell phone then putting that into another dumpster on Pickering Court, then walks home. 

Charisse says most of the evidence the family was already aware of, but they learned some new details in what he allegedly did after killing her as well as the fact she tried to call 9-1-1 initially instead of running out of the home to save herself.

“Just overwhelmed and how one person can come up with that in less than an hour I think and then the searching on his phone of where to place her body tells me it was just kind of on the spot, it wasn’t really planned,” said Charisse.

Charisse says she wants Lamont to serve his time so justice can be served, and the family can move forward. 

“I don’t wish ill will on anyone. This is a tragic unfortunate situation that could have been prevented, so all around, we’re just moving on mainly for my sister’s twins,” said Charisse.

Johnson’s mom declined to speak with us, stating he had the right to due process. The judge will now listen to all the interrogation evidence in the case over the next two weeks.

The hearing will continue on August 4 on whether the confession will stay as evidence or not. A new trial date has not yet been set.

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