16-year-old arrested in WWII vet’s beating death
SPOKANE, Wash. — The killing shocked and saddened the nation. And hours after World War II vet Delbert Belton died following a brutal beating during a botched robbery, police Chief Frank Straub Jr. vowed that police in Spokane, Washington, would find the second of two teens believed responsible for his death.
Early Monday, Straub’s investigators made good on that promise, tracking 16-year-old Kenan Adams-Kinard down and taking him into custody without incident around 3 a.m., police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said.
Several others with him were arrested for rendering criminal assistance, she said.
Authorities named Adams-Kinard during the search for him even though he is a juvenile, saying “he represents … an actual danger to the community.” Authorities have not released the name of the first suspect, who was taken into custody last week.
Police arrested Adams-Kinard on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. It was unclear when he would make his first court appearance.
Police found Belton on the ground Wednesday night in the parking lot outside the Eagles Lodge, where he had been waiting to go bowling with a friend.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office determined he had died of blunt facial and head injuries.
Police called it a botched robbery, and said race did not appear to play a role in the attack, despite public speculation to the contrary.
Coming just days after an Australian baseball player died in a shooting that police said was conceived by three teenagers out of boredom, Belton’s death shocked with its apparent brutality and random nature, and left friends and family wondering why it happened.
“He didn’t drive a big fancy car. He didn’t didn’t dress in expensive clothes. He didn’t have a lot of money,” Belton’s daughter-in-law, Barbara Belton, told CNN’s Alina Machado last week. “What did they think they were going to get from this man?”
Belton, a retired aluminum company worker, was wounded during a battle on the Pacific Ocean island of Okinawa while fighting in World War II.
He was affectionately known to friends as “Shorty” because of his diminutive height.
“He was awesome,” Lillian Duncan told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. “Anybody that didn’t get to know him missed out on a wonderful angel in their life.”
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