Sentencing for convicted murderer reset
Gerard Lopez convicted in Natalie Belmonte's murder
Sentencing for a man convicted of killing his adopted mother was rescheduled for next week.
Broward Circuit Court Judge Matthew Destry rescheduled sentencing for Gerard Lopes to October 16, much to the disappointment of her family who attended the hearing.
"Gerry has shamelessly lied to my sister, has brazenly robbed my sister before and after her death, has viciously beaten my sister, has violently raped my sister," said Michaela Tsiera. "I am worried that, if he should ever be released, I worry for myself, for niece and my nephew, for my parents, for my children."
"Gerry has done nothing but cause trouble, harm, pain, and suffering to my family. He has stolen countless of times from my mother, my father, my brother, and me. He has shown no remorse from when he stole from my family, no remorse when he stole from family friends and neighbors, and no remorse when he killed and raped my mother," said Brianna Belmonte.
Lopes, 23, cried when his sister and uncle testified.
Last month, jurors convicted Lopes of second-degree murder in Natalie Belmonte's death. He was charged with first-degree murder, but jurors opted for a lesser charge.
Prosecutors said Lopes raped Belmonte, then killed her to cover it up. Lopes' attorneys argued the two had consensual sex.
Belmonte was last seen on July 16, 2011. Three days later, police found her body in a wooded area a few miles from her home.
Second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison.