Custody battles and pushed hearing dates further delay the case of Bellamy Gamboa

This photo was taken the night before Bellamy Gamboa’s memorial service. Bellamy’s daughter, Raine, upon seeing the sketch, immediately recognized her mom. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Charisse Gamboa)
This photo was taken the night before Bellamy Gamboa’s memorial service. Bellamy’s daughter, Raine, upon seeing the sketch, immediately recognized her mom. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Charisse Gamboa)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The case of Bellamy Gamboa, a local woman allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend, is still making its way through the court system where it is being met by a few hold-ups.

Gamboa, 39, was last seen on July 1 at 8:24 p.m. in the 2100 Block of Carrene Drive, by July 2, her ex-boyfriend Lamont Johnson was arrested by police on a murder charge and two counts of contributing to delinquency, abuse of a child (July 2) and another two counts of the same charge (July 3).

Shortly after Johnson’s arrest, he allegedly confessed to “pushing the victim down the stairs and falling on her” and also admitted to “choking the victim until she was dead,” according to court documents.

Johnson was set to appear for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 20, 2018 but because of “a defense motion to continue for more time to prepare for preliminary hearing,” the hearing was moved to April 4, according to court documents.

But the preliminary hearing isn’t the only thing that the Gamboa family is dealing with.

Currently Gamboa’s family cannot access the insurance policy that Bellamy Gamboa may have had because her body has not been recovered, said Charisse Gamboa, Bellamy’s sister.

Charisse Gamboa said a judge could not issue a death certificate (required by the insurance company) until the conclusion of Johnson’s criminal case, and that depends on whether he is found guilty of murder.

They have two options: they could either wait on the trial or they could hire a civil attorney, Charisse Gamboa said.

In addition to that, Bellamy Gamboa’s 2-year-old twin children have been in the custody of Johnson’s mother, Velma Johnson, since July 29, 2018, Charisse Gamboa said.

A court had initially ruled on Aug. 22, 2018 that the twins would stay with Velma Johnson until a secondary custody hearing date on Feb. 4, Charisse Gamboa said.

Charisse Gamboa said Bellamy was in the process of getting full custody of her children, so the Gamboa family is going to honor her wishes.

Charisse Gamboa said while they can only be with the twins for about nine days a month, the family cherishes every moment they have with the children.

Until then the Gamboa family is closely watching the criminal case against Lamont Johnson.

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