BLOUNTSTOWN – Emotional testimony from the family of murder victim Judith Belc at the hands of her husband in 2018 was followed by a Life-without-possibility of parole sentence Friday for her killer, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.
Dan Belc killed his wife in 2018, shooting her multiple times at her family’s house in Blountstown, where he had followed her after she left their home in Germany and decided to file for divorce. He was found guilty of First-Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault Oct. 28. At Friday’s sentencing, Chief Circuit Court Judge Christopher Patterson heard testimony from the victim’s family.
Daniel Christopher Belc-Powell began his testimony by addressing the defendant by his first name, instead of “dad,” saying he had not considered him his father “for the 1,720 days since you took our mom.”
“I know some of the family has forgiven you, I have not, but it is out of respect to my mom that I will keep that door open,” he said. “Mom is in heaven now, where she can no longer be controlled and abused by you.”
Family members described Judith Belc as a loving woman of tremendous faith who supported the defendant through college years ago and dedicated herself to her family and her God.
Her father said she was a forgiving person who loved to sing and was involved with missionary work when she met the defendant. He saw his daughter two days before her murder, then left for an out-of-state funeral. “On Tuesday night I thought everything was OK, that (the defendant) was going to be on a plane back to Germany,” he said. “We got a call Friday morning and found out our daughter had been killed. It was a long drive home.”
During that drive, he said, he prayed for help when feelings of anger arose toward the defendant.
“Dan, you broke the Sixth Commandment that God gave to all of us,” he said. “I would like to say from my heart,
Dan, that I do forgive you. If I do not forgive you, I know God will not forgive me for my sins.”
Basford and Gulf County Chief Prosecutor William Wright prosecuted the case. At sentencing Wright described the victim as truly innocent.
“I’ve been in this business a long time and Judith Belc was a saint,” Wright told Judge Patterson. “She did nothing to cause this to happen. She did nothing wrong.
“Mr. Basford and I are honored that we’ve been able to represent Judith and her family,” Wright added. “There’s something evil about Dan Belc, he’s almost like a cancer, he ruins everything that he is around.”
Wright asked Patterson to sentence Belc to the time served on the Aggravated Assault charge and Life without parole for murder. The family did not want the State to seek the Death Penalty.
After the sentencing, Basford spoke to more than 20 family members and friends of the victim, thanking them for their strength and assistance through the multiple delays brought on by the defendant.
“This case took longer than any of us expected to resolve and obtain justice,” Basford said. “We certainly appreciate the patience of the family and the thorough investigation by the men and women of the Calhoun County and Jackson County Sheriff’s Departments.”
For additional information, contact Mike Cazalas at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 850-381-7454.