Police have arrested a second teenage suspect in the murder of Delbert Belton, a World War II veteran who was beaten to death in Spokane, Wash., last week. Belton, 88, was assaulted and robbed outside of a recreation hall and later died from his injuries at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Belton was found beaten in his car in the parking lot outside of an Eagles Ice-A-Rena, a neighborhood hall that hosts billiards and bingo, the Los Angeles Times reported. The attack is believed to have taken place around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Police believe that at the time of the attack he had been waiting for a friend to play pool with.
On Monday morning, four days after 16-year-old Demetrius Glenn surrendered to authorities, police arrested a second suspect on first-degree robbery and first-degree murder warrants: 16-year-old Kenan Adams-Kinard. The arrest reportedly took place in a basement apartment in Spokane.
A police statement said, “Several other people ... have been arrested for rendering criminal assistance.”
Police have already revealed that they will charge Glenn as an adult, but have not yet stated plans for Adams-Kinard. In a press conference on Monday morning, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told reporters, “We're confident we've built a very strong case against both individuals."
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He said the crime is believed to have been a random robbery and that police do not think race was a factor in the fatal beating. "These are two men that just spun out of control. And now they are arrested, and incarcerated," Straub said.
"It does appear random,” Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective Lt. Mark Griffiths added in an interview with KXLY. “He was in the parking lot, it appears he was assaulted in the parking lot and there was no indication that he would have known these people prior to the assault.”
Belton was wounded in the knee during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. After leaving the U.S. Army, he worked at the Kaiser Aluminum plant for 30 years,. Belton’s daughter-in-law, Barbara Belton, told the LA Times that she hoped her father-in-law would get justice.
“When people commit a crime they need to be arrested and tried and sentenced for the crime they have committed,” Belton said. "I hope this will happen."
She added: “You can’t go around beating people to death and think it’s OK and not pay any consequences. They need to pay the consequences of their action, which was horrendous.”
Belton’s friend of 23 years, Ted Denison, described him as a father figure. "He was always there for me when I needed him," Denison said. "I thought of him more as a dad than I did a friend really."
"Probably every time I come into town, he'd have a project for me to do," he said. "I thought of him more as a dad than I did a friend really… I don't understand how somebody could do this. I really don't.”