Virginia Man Found Guilty In Ex-Girlfriend's Strangulation

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A jury found a Virginia man guilty on Friday of murdering his ex-girlfriend almost four years in front of the couple’s young toddlers.

Lamont Johnson, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Bellamy Gamboa, 39, in July 2018, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported. The 10-man, two-woman jury deliberated for about 90 minutes. The jury also convicted Johnson of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for leaving the couple’s 20-month-old toddlers home alone while he disposed of Gamboa's body.

Johnson admitted to killing Gamboa during a lengthy videotaped interview with Virginia Beach police about a month after the woman disappeared. Virginia Beach police Sgt. Lanis Geluso testified in April 2019 that Johnson told officers he and Gamboa argued, so he pushed her down a flight of stairs as she held one of their children., then strangled her.

Jurors resumed deliberations Friday afternoon to determine the sentence for Johnson. The murder charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, while the child delinquency charges are punishable by up to a year.