VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The man who killed Bellamy Gamboa in July 2018 was formally sentenced Tuesday to 25 and a half years in prison.
Judge James Lewis called this ” one of the most vile and inhumane cases” he has ever witnessed on the bench.
It took the jury less than two hours of deliberation during the trial in May to convict Lamont Johnson, 45, of the death of his ex-girlfriend on a charge of second-degree murder. He was also found guilty of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Johnson confessed to strangling Gamboa in the Virginia Beach townhome they shared with their 20-month-old twins. The commonwealth’s evidence proved they had an argument over rent. He pushed her down a flight of stairs, assaulted her when she tried to call police, and then choked her to death.
He told investigators he left the children home alone when he disposed of Gamboa’s body in a dumpster in Chesapeake. Weeks after the crime, Johnson took detectives to the dumpster. Investigators determined the contents had been incinerated.
Gamboa’s body was never recovered.
Gamboa’s two oldest children and their grandparents were in court Tuesday for the sentencing.
Roxann Case-Hicks, Gamboa’s family member, shared a poem with the judge titled ‘lives forever changed’ which described how devastating the last four years have been for her family. Her husband, Kyle Hicks, explained the young kids are traumatized by witnessing such a gruesome act.
In court, the prosecutor outlined the facts of the case. She stated, “the defendant deserves every second” of the jury’s recommended sentence of 25 years and 6 months.
Johnson begged the judge for leniency and mercy for several minutes. He offered condolences to Gamboa’s family. He called it an “unfortunate series of events.” He added the four-day jury trial was based on emotions and not facts. He said he looks forward to being there for his kids and mentioned a custody battle.
As Judge Lewis handed down the sentence, he called Johnson’s “lack of remorse disgusting.”
“He’s had no remorse whatsoever and to think that he says that he loves his kids, and they are his life, but he did it in front of them. They have been traumatized,” explained Case-Hicks.
Gamboa’s family says they are happy Johnson received the full recommended sentence, but say it does not provide closure.
“[We’re] grateful that he got what the jury gave him. Wish he could have got more because he actually was the executioner of her,” said Case-Hicks. “They weren’t even able to put her in the ground or have her ashes.”
“I have to forgive him. I’ll be on my knees praying for God to help me because what he did is so horrible. I just can’t imagine it. I can’t fathom it,” said Hicks.
He asks for the community to continue to pray for the children.