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Delbert Belton Murder Update: Second teen suspect in beating death of WWII vet due in court

Delbert Belton KREM

(CBS/AP) SPOKANE, Wash. -- A second teen charged in the murder of Delbert Belton, an 88-year-old World War II veteran who was beaten to death outside a Washington Ice-A-Rena Wednesday, is scheduled to make a court appearance Tuesday.

Kenan Adams-Kinard, 16, was arrested early Monday in a basement apartment in Spokane after police followed up on tips from his family. He is charged with first degree murder and first-degree robbery and is being held on $2 million bail.

Another 16-year-old, Demetrius L. Glenn, also charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery, made an initial court appearance Monday afternoon. The charges carry a potential life sentence.

District Judge Richard Leland, presiding over a packed courtroom, said the brutality of the attack and vulnerability of the victim make the high bail proper. Glenn had turned himself in Thursday night, the same day Delbert Belton died of his injuries. The slightly built youth gave yes and no answers to questions from the judge but otherwise said nothing.

Belton, who was shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa, was killed during a robbery Wednesday outside the Eagles Ice-A-Rena in Spokane, police said. Authorities say two young men attacked Belton in his car, apparently at random, outside the arena as he was waiting for a friend.

The victim's daughter-in-law said Belton was hit with "big heavy flashlights" and doctors told her he was bleeding from all parts of his face, reports CBS affiliate KREM.

Defense attorney Chris Phelps noted after the hearing that the case has gone viral on the Internet, with many people expressing strong opinions. "The evidence doesn't indicate what happened," Phelps said, adding that witnesses only reported "two kids running away."

Both teens will be tried as adults.

"The two individuals we believe are responsible for the robbery and murder of Mr. Belton are in custody," Police Chief Frank Straub said at a news conference Monday. Straub said that Belton apparently fought back against his assailants, which he said may have increased the severity of the beating.

"Our information is that the individual fought back and that may have made this, you know, a worse situation," Straub said. "I'm not being critical of Mr. Belton, we certainly encourage individuals to fight back, and he should have. But it shouldn't have happened to begin with."

The motive for the murder was robbery, Straub said. The teens stole cash from Belton and his wallet was discovered near the crime scene. Both suspects, he said, have criminal records for assault.

Three other juveniles in the house with Adams-Kinard were arrested for investigation of rendering criminal assistance, a felony.

Straub said the case involved twin tragedies.

"It bothers me that a distinguished World War II veteran lost his life," Straub said. But the lives of the young suspects are also likely ruined, he said.

Belton was born and raised in Spokane. He survived being shot in the leg in 1945 at Okinawa, one of the fiercest battles of the war, and went on to spend 33 years working for Kaiser Aluminum before retiring in 1982.

Belton was called "Shorty" by his friends because he was little more than 5 feet tall, his niece Pam Hansen said.

She believes he was targeted because of his age and size.

More than 100 reportedly attended a candlelight vigil for Belton on Friday.


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