Defendant Shouts Apology to Victim's Daughter in Court

Rogilio Belmonte could be sentenced to life in prison

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rogelio Belmonte shouted an apology to the daughter of his victim during the sentencing phase of his trial Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012)

    Witnesses are testifying Wednesday against a man who confessed to robbing a 76-year-old woman, then dragging her to her death with his truck.

    Rogelio Belmonte admits he was behind the wheel during the deadly robbery on March 9, 2011, that was captured on Wal-Mart surveillance video.
     
    Wednesday was an emotional morning at the sentencing hearing. The victim’s daughter, Linda Hazouri testified about the horrible day that she got the call that her mom had been run down in the Wal-Mart parking lot off Forest Lane. 
     
    She says her mom, Sabra Leavy, was an active woman who did yoga twice a week. She says she was full of life, until Belmonte took that away. 
     
    As Hazouri was stepping down from the stand, Belmonte blurted out, “I’m sorry!”
     
    Witness Kimberley Butler recounted hearing Leavy’s cries for help. Butler said she watched as Belmonte snatched Leavy’s purse, dragged her with his truck, then ran her over with his back tire. 
     
    She said a wounded Leavy cried out in pain, while Belmonte showed no remorse.
     
    “He drove off with her hanging out of the car, her screaming, ‘Someone help, let go!’ He was laughing, just driving off laughing. When you just drug and old lady and took her purse. I think he should get no probation. I think he should rot in jail,” said Butler. 
     
    Belmonte could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
     
    Prosecutors are arguing to show jurors a video of Belmonte’s reaction after he learned the victim died. He apparently kicked the door of the interrogation room in anger.
     
    Jurors could decide Belmonte’s punishment as early as Thursday.