Face to face with their young daughters killer, a grieving family spoke Tuesday about the impact of a nearly four decade old crime.
The killer, who committed the crime as a 14 year-old, apologized in the courtroom.
“First off I want to tell you that I’m sorry,” he said.
Those were the first words from Brooks Bellay as he addressed the family of Angel Halstead, the 4-year-old girl he killed as a teenager in 1979 in Vero Beach.
“I’m sorry for what I did to you. I’ve hurt you, I hurt the community, I hurt my family," said Bellay, now 52.
Sandy Gillman, Angel’s mom, said Bellay was the neighborhood bully.
“It was terrible. From the day I moved in, it was like he picked my family to pick on," said Gillman.
“It’s hard, very very hard knowing you have a family member that was killed," said Stacy Teague, who wasn't born when Angel was murdered.
Angel’s family, 38 years later, had the opportunity to finally express their feelings to the man who has brought them so much pain.
"How in the heck could something that small pack so much love in that little body. But she did, she packed a lot of love," a very emotional George Halstead said about his daughter.
Angel’s mom had not seen Bellay since the crime.
“I expected him to look big. A big man, but he’s still a dangerous kid to me," said Sandy Gillman.
Bellay, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder, is being resentenced under new Florida guidelines regarding minors who committed murder before 1994.
Angel would have been 43 Monday. Her family made a final plea to keep her killer in prison.
“A sentence of life in prison for Brooks Bellay for what he had done," George Halstead said to the judge.
The judge will announce his decision November 17th.