Trial to begin for man accused of murdering his adoptive mother

Prosecutors say Gerard Lopes Belmonte raped Natalie Belmonte, then killed her

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter , Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The trial for a man accused of murdering his adoptive mother two years ago begins on Monday. Prosecutors say Gerard Lopes Belmonte killed Natalie Belmonte, a well-known Pembroke Pines realtor.

Last week, prosecutors accused Belmonte of raping the victim and said he murdered her to cover up that crime.

The prosecution argued that DNA evidence shows that Belmonte sexually assaulted the victim before killing her after they returned home from a party in 2011.

"We have about 7,000 text messages between the two where there is not one iota of evidence that supports the defense's contention that this was a consensual sexual relationship," said prosecutor Adriana Alcalde.

"They could have been having a consensual sexual relationship behind closed doors… it happens," said Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry. 

The victim's sister then took the stand, where she spoke about all that Natalie Belmonte had done for her adoptive son. Gerard is also her first cousin, who she rescued from South America when he was a little boy.

"There is absolutely no way that she had a consensual sexual relationship with her son… absolutely no way," said Michaela Teixeira through tears.

After that testimony, Destry said he would allow the evidence at trial.

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