Judge: Brooks Bellay back to prison for life for murder of 4-year-old girl in Vero Beach

Posted at 7:09 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-18 06:51:39-05

A judge re-sentenced Brooks Bellay to life in prison nearly four decades after he pleaded guilty to killing a 4-year-old girl in Vero Beach.  He was 14 at the time of the crime in 1979 and confessed when he pleaded guilty to second degree murder in 1980. 

Outside of the courtroom, the victim’s family gathered, tearful and reflecting upon what just happened inside. 

“I weak like a wilted flower,” said George Halstead, Angel’s father. 

Brooks Bellay was just re-sentenced to life in prison for a crime that happened in Vero Beach nearly four decades ago.

In 1979, 4-year-old Angel was found naked and beaten to death in the woods. Investigators said Bellay inserted himself into the investigation, even taking part in the search for the little girl. 

“To state this crime is horrific is an understatement. It is one of the most heinous crimes to occur in this jurisdiction,” the judge exclaimed. 

Bellay was 14-years-old at the time. The case never went to trial after he pleaded guilty to second degree murder in 1980. 

Angel’s father described what he was thinking about when he looked at Bellay. 

“He’s just like an empty soul. There is nothing there,” said Halstead. 

The judge stated rehabilitation is not possible for Bellay. 

“Life in prison remains the only just punishment even now,” he said. 

Angel would have been 43 now. Her mother hopes this is all over with. 

“We think of angel everyday and talk about her, every birthday Christmas we go to her grave,” said Sandy Gillman, Angel’s mother. 

Gillman plans to visit her daughter’s grave site this weekend. She said it’s how Angel knows she is still with them.