car trunk

‘I Did It': Florida Inmate Admits to Raping, Killing Adoptive Mom

A South Florida man convicted of killing his adoptive mother in 2011 showed no emotion when describing the crime in an interview with NBC 6 and said several times he did not willfully and consciously kill her.

Gerard Lopes is currently serving a life sentence at a correctional facility in Jasper, Florida, for the slaying of Natalie Belmonte.

"There is a dark side to the story and it's real, and it's unfortunate," Lopes said.

Belmonte adopted Lopes after his father died in 2000. Lopes was 9 years old.

"She would always say, 'I'm not your real mother, but I feel like I pushed you out,'" Lopes explained.

On July 17, 2011, Lopes betrayed that mother-son bond. Prosecutors proved in court that Lopes raped and killed Belmonte inside their Pembroke Pines home after returning from a party.

"You're looking at me; I did it. It was me, but I don’t know why. I couldn't exactly tell you why it happened," Lopes said in the interview. "We were in the room and I was hitting her head on the floor and I just kept hitting her head on the floor and I stopped."

He recalled how he tried to cover up the crime scene.

"The first thing that came to my mind was, 'Try to cover this up. Clean it up.' So I just started grabbing sheets off the bed, towels off the floor and cleaned up all the blood," he explained.

Lopes went on to say he put everything in garbage bags, then moved Belmonte's body to the trunk of his car.

"I go and I dump her body in some woods and I go take the trash and put it in the dumpster," he described.

Lopes also cleared up a point his defense made during the trial. His attorneys had argued that Lopes and Belmonte had a consensual sexual relationship, a claim the victim's relatives vehemently denied.

Lopes said in the interview it wasn't true.

"We never had an inappropriate relationship. There was some things that was kind of borderline, but I wouldn't say it was inappropriate. We never had a relationship," Lopes said.

Belmonte's family watched the prison interview and released the following statement:

"Gerry's crime is unforgivable and we do not believe he conveniently doesn't remember what happened during parts of that night. Our focus now is to remember Natalie and all the good she brought to all of our lives."

Lopes is in the middle of an appeals process. He said he misses his mother and asks his siblings for forgiveness.

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