Closing arguments made in murder trial

Gerard Lopes charged with premeditated murder in Natalie Belmonte's death

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Closing arguments were made Monday in the trial of a man accused of killing his adopted mother.

Gerard Lopes is charged with premeditated murder in Natalie Belmonte's death. Belmonte, his cousin, adopted him from Guyana when he was 10 years old after his father died.

"She fought for her life until she couldn't fight anymore, until her last breath was snuffed out by that man," said assistant state attorney Adriana Alcalde-Padron. "That man sitting over there, Gerry Lopes, beat, killed, violated his mother -- leaving semen inside of her."

Alcalde-Padron said Lopes raped Belmonte, then killed her to cover it up.

Alcalde-Padron pointed to the plaid shorts Lopes was wearing when he walked into a convenience store with Belmonte the night before she disappeared. A pair of those shorts were later found soaked in blood inside of a dumpster.

Lopes' attorneys argued the two had consensual sex.

"Last time I checked, we weren't at a sexual battery trial. We're in a murder trial," said attorney Jose Reyes. "There's an old saying that my dad used to tell me. He used to tell me, 'O what I hear, I don't believe anything. Of what I see, I believe half.'"

Prosecutors began their rebuttal arguments after 6 p.m.

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