Dan Belc trial continues in Calhoun County
BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Wednesday, jurors heard the recorded call between Dan Belc and his son from the night Belc allegedly killed his wife, Judy Yoder Belc. Not long after the call, Belc arrived at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office with his wife’s deceased half-naked body in the trunk of his car and the gun he allegedly shot her in the head with.
Testimony began at the Calhoun County Courthouse Tuesday in the trial against a man accused of murdering his wife in 2018. Dan Belc is being charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual battery and aggravated assault.
It was a long day in court. Jurors heard opening arguments from both the state and the defense before witnesses began taking the stand.
The prosecution went first, building his argument by playing back the recorded 911 call Belc placed to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office just hours after he allegedly killed his wife and just minutes before he turned himself in.
The chilling call was made in the early hours of March 23rd, 2018. You hear Belc confessing to the murder of his wife, Judy Yoder Belc.
“Where is your wife now? Are you sure she’s dead,” the operator asked.
“Yeah, she’s dead. I shot her three times. I shot her three times and I know for sure she’s dead,” Belc replied.
The call came in just minutes before Belc arrived at the station with his wife’s body in the trunk.
“He turned himself in. handed over a gun and in the trunk of the car was his dead wife’s body, Judith Yoder Belc. She was naked from the waist down,” State Prosecutor Bill Wright said.
While the state argues it was pre-meditated murder, the defense said it was heat of passion manslaughter.
“She told Dan Belc that his twins were not his. Not only that but they were conceived in a minivan by a family friend. Then he shot her. It’s called heat of passion. When you hear something so so terrible, that you snap,” Defense Attorney Russell Wilson said.
In Belc’s 911 call, he said his wife was trying to divorce him and wouldn’t listen.
“She was everything to me. she was everything to me, everything. She just wanted to divorce but she didn’t want to give me another chance to work on issues,” Belc said.
The night of the murder, Belc went to see Judy at her family’s home in Blountstown where her brother, Robert Yoder Jr., stuck around while they were talking. That was until, for just a moment, Robert stepped away to turn off the lights in the nearby trailer.
“As I was shutting the door, I heard the beginning of a struggle. And she was starting to say something before I heard a slap sound. And I shouted at the top of my lungs and said no Dan no,” Robert said.
Robert said he was soon face-to-face with Belc holding a gun pointed at him before running away. By the time he looked back, Belc and Judy were gone.
There is a lot to cover in this case. Court officials expect the trial to last through the week with Belc himself taking the stand at some point, as well as some of his children.
Belc’s trial was previously postponed twice. He’s been in custody awaiting trial in Calhoun County since the incident.
NewsChannel 7 will be following along with the trial over the coming days and will be sure to keep our viewers updated as we learn more.
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