One of the teenagers arrested in the brutal beating death of 88-year-old Delbert “Shorty” Belton says he initially approached the World War II veteran to buy crack, then the exchange turned violent.
That bit of information came to light in court on Monday when prosecutors said police discovered a letter one of the suspects, Kenan Adams-Kinard, 16, wrote to his mother. Kenan reportedly wrote that he and his friend beat Mr. Belton because he didn’t give them the crack cocaine they had paid him for, The Blaze reported.
Spokane, Wash., police, meanwhile, said they haven’t seen evidence that supports that claim. And Mr. Belton’s nephew, Ian Day, scoffed.
“There’s absolutely no truth to that whatsoever,” Mr. Day said, in The Spokesman-Review. “By saying these things, they’ve brought darkness upon themselves.”
And Mr. Belton’s daughter said similarly in an NBC report: “That’s a bunch of crock.”
Kenan was in court for a first hearing on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. The attorney for his suspected accomplice, Demetrius Glenn, 16, doesn’t buy the crack defense, either, telling NBC that “it doesn’t seem plausible to me. I wouldn’t put any stock in it at this point.”
The crime was especially brutal.
Mr. Belton apparently was discovered last Wednesday wedged between the two front seats of his car, bruised, bloody and brain-damaged, The Daily Mail reported. Police say that he was beaten with flashlights and that Mr. Belton seemed to have put up a fight.
Mr. Belton’s daughter-in-law, Barbara Belton, said to NBC: “They just kept hitting him. He was an 88-year-old man. Even if they wanted his money and he didn’t want to give it to them, they didn’t need to do that. They did a horrendous thing and they need to pay the consequences.”