On Wednesday, prosecutors told a Broward County courtroom that Gerard Lopes Belmonte's disturbing motive for killing his adoptive mother two years ago, was to cover up the fact that he had just raped her.
DNA tests showed Lopes' semen was found inside his 43-year-old mother's body, said Assistant State Attorney Adriana Alcalde.
On July 20, 2011, the badly beaten body of Natalie Belmonte was found in a marsh near the Pembroke Pines home she shared with her son.
Lopes reported his mother missing three days earlier.
However, the night before Belmonte's disappearance, video footage from a neighbor’s security camera shows Belmonte and Lopes, leaving together (apparently to attend a family event), then returning home around 2:48 a.m. Shortly thereafter, Lopes can be seen dragging a large bag across the driveway and placing it into the trunk of Belmonte's Lexus.
That car would later be found next to a dumpster, where Lopes reportedly discarded bloody sheets from his mother's bed, according to court documents.
The Broward/Palm Beach New Times reported:
Lopes had previously been charged with stealing $20,000 in jewelry from his mother.
Lopes, who has denied killing his mother, has been charged with first-degree murder and is currently being held at the Broward County Jail on an immigration detainer.
Lopes, now 23-years-old, was reportedly brought here illegally from South America when he was a small boy.