VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Prosecutors played jurors video of Lamont Johnson confessing to killing Bellamy Gamboa during the second day of his second-degree murder trial on Wednesday.
About four weeks after Gamboa disappeared in July 2018, police arrested Johnson, Gamboa's ex and the father of her young twins, on charges related to leaving the kids home alone.
They then brought Johnson into the Virginia Beach police station for questioning. All of the video was recorded and portions of it were played for the jury.
At first, Johnson seems evasive, telling the detectives he didn't kill Gamboa, but as the hours go by his body language changes. At one point, his hands are on his head.
Then, a sergeant comes in and puts pressure on Johnson to fess up to what happened.
Johnson agrees to once he has a smoke break. While outside, Johnson talks with a detective and is heard crying and apologizing for lying.
An audio recording of the conversation was also played for the jury.
Back inside, the video picks back up. Johnson hugs a detective and apologizes for lying.
In his own words, he then proceeds to tell them what happened.
He says he and Gamboa had been arguing about paying rent. While upstairs, he pushed Gamboa and she fell down the stairs. He tripped over something and also fell down the stairs.
Then, he says Gamboa tells him she's calling the police. Johnson says he "snapped" and pushed her to the ground and choked her until she was no longer moving.
He says at first he thought about calling the police, saying, "What the hell just happened?"
Out of worry for his kids' future, he says he decided to wrap her body up in a comforter and drop it off in a dumpster in Chesapeake. Gamboa's body has never been recovered.
Johnson told the detectives at first he did feel some relief, saying, "I gotta pay daycare, but at least I have some peace."
As he continues to talk to the detectives, the weight of what he just admitted appears to catch up to him. "I'm just a huge disappointment to my whole family," he said.
Attorneys for Johnson had previously attempted to not let the video be played during the trial, saying he was coerced by police into making it, but last year a judge ruled it could be shown.
Prior to the video being played, another police officer testified that he was called out to the home Johnson and Gamboa shared to do a wellness check on her after she didn't show up to work on July 2, 2018.
The officer testified Johnson was cooperative, but said he didn't know where Gamboa was.
Search parties began looking for Gamboa, but Johnson told police he never got involved in those efforts.
Eventually, detectives got involved and grew suspicious of Johnson and took out a search warrant on his phone. Through that, the sergeant testified they saw Johnson had searched things like "where does the trash go."
The prosecution is expected to continue presenting their case on Thursday before the defense gets their chance.