Spokane police arrest suspect in beating death of WWII vet

Authorities are still looking for a second teenin a case that has struck a chord nationally.


SPOKANE — In custody is Demetrius Glenn, 16, who was booked into Spokane County’s juvenile detention facility. Glenn is facing murder and robbery charges in connection with the Wednesday beating of 88-year-old Delbert Belton, who was waiting for a friend outside Spokane’s Eagles Lodge.

Glenn turned himself in through his attorney Thursday at about 9:45 p.m.

Belton’s death has sparked outrage on social media.

“He fought for this country,” said Belton’s sister, Alberta Tosh, on Friday. “Then he comes home and a couple of creeps kill him in the worst way.”

Police are searching for Kenan Adams-Kinard, the second suspect in the beating. Police Chief Frank Straub said Adams-Kinard should be considered a threat to the community and should not be contacted.

Even though he is a juvenile, his name and photo were released because he remains a danger to the community, Straub said.

A witness reported seeing Belton’s car in the parking lot and Glenn and Adams-Kinard fleeing over a nearby fence, according to an affidavit. Belton’s body was wedged in between the two seats, covered in blood with several injuries to his face and head.

Surveillance footage shows the two suspects running through several parking lots.

Police have not determined the motive, Straub said, but believe it was a random attack. Race was not a factor in the murder, he said.

What’s more important right now is that two young men thought it was acceptable to beat an old man to death, he said.

“I don’t care what their motive was,” Straub said.

Police were offering no details about the crime itself, including what was taken, if anything. Such random attacks are rare in Spo-kane, a city of 210,000 people in eastern Washington, Straub said.

Both of the suspects have juvenile court records and have past convictions for assault, Straub said.

Belton was born and raised in Spokane and joined the Army during World War II. His sister said he was shot in the leg on Okinawa, site of one of the fiercest battles of the war in 1945.

“He was shell-shocked real bad,” Tosh, 78, said. “But it got better.”

After the war, he spent 33 years working for Kaiser Aluminum, before retiring in 1982.

In retirement, Belton loved to dance, play pool and repair old cars, family members said.

“He was very active and everybody liked him,” said niece Pam Hansen. “He’d never think about harming another person.”

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

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

“He was defenseless,” Hansen said.

“He put his life on the line for our country to come home and 60 years later get beat to death?” said Ted Denison, a friend. “That’s not right.”

The Associated Press contributed.

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