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Delbert Belton Murder Update: Suspect claims teens were buying crack cocaine from WWII vet before fatal beating

Delbert Belton KREM

(CBS) SPOKANE, Wash. -- One of the Washington teens suspected in the beating death of World War Two veteran Delbert Belton claims the two met the 88-year-old in a Spokane parking lot to buy crack cocaine, CBS affiliate KREM reports. A lawyer for Kenan Adams-Kinard said Belton shorted the teens, prompting the attack.

Kinard showed no emotion during a court appearance Tuesday, during which a judge set his bail at $3 million, citing community safety and a concern that Adams-Kinard may flee.

"Certainly these facts are disturbing, and they are egregious to say the very least," the judge said.

Police say the 88-year-old, who survived the Battle of Okinawa, was beaten to death Wednesday by two teens during an apparent robbery as he was waiting outside the Eagles Ice-A-Rena for a friend.

His family told KREM after the attack that the vet was beaten with "big heavy flashlights."

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. 

Another 16-year-old, Demetrius L. Glenn, also charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery, made an initial court appearance Monday afternoon. He is being held on $2 million bail.

The charges carry a potential life sentence.

Police say they believe the teens robbed Belton and killed him, apparently at random. They say Belton may have fought back against his assailants, which may have increased the severity of the beating.

Investigators called the claim that the teens were buying crack from Belton "ridiculous," KREM reports. Detectives also tell the station that Adams-Kinard had cuts on his hand consistent with being in a fight, though his lawyer denied that.

A memorial service for Belton with full military honors was planned for Thursday, followed by a church service on Friday.

Full coverage of the Delbert Belton murder case on Crimesider

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