SPOKANE — A 16-year-old Spokane boy was ordered held on $2 million bail Monday and will be tried as an adult in connection with last week’s beating death of an 88-year-old World War II veteran. A second teen was arrested in the case early Monday morning.
Demetrius L. Glenn is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Spokane County District Court, and made an initial court appearance Monday afternoon. The charges carry a potential life sentence.
District Judge Richard Leland, presiding over a packed courtroom, said the brutality of the attack and vulnerability of the victim make the high bail proper.
Glenn had turned himself in Thursday night, the same day Army veteran Delbert Belton died of his injuries.
The slightly built youth gave yes-and-no answers to questions from the judge, but otherwise said nothing.
“The evidence doesn’t indicate what happened,” said defense attorney Chris Phelps, adding that eyewitnesses only reported “two kids running away.”
A second 16-year-old boy, Kenan Adams-Kinard, was arrested without incident early Monday on a warrant for first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He has a court appearance scheduled for today and will also be tried as an adult.
“The two individuals we believe are responsible for the robbery and murder of Mr. Belton are in custody,” said Police Chief Frank Straub.
Belton, who was wounded in the Battle of Okinawa, was beaten in his vehicle as he waited for a friend in the parking lot of an Eagles Lodge in north Spokane on Wednesday, and his wallet was taken.
Officers found Belton with serious head injuries; he died in the hospital Thursday.
Straub said it appeared that Belton fought back against his attackers, which may have increased the severity of his beating.
“Our information indicates the individual fought back and that may have made this a worse situation,” Straub said. Nevertheless, “I encourage people to fight back” when attacked.
Police received a tip early Monday about Adams-Kinard’s location, Straub said. Three other juveniles in the house with him Monday were arrested for investigation of rendering criminal assistance, a felony.
Investigators believe the boys targeted Belton randomly. “There is no gang activity associated with this incident,” Straub said.
Both suspects have criminal records for assault, he said.
Straub said the case involved twin tragedies.
“It bothers me that a distinguished World War II veteran lost his life,” Straub said. But the lives of the young suspects are also likely ruined, he said.
Belton was born and raised in Spokane. He survived being shot in the leg in 1945 at Okinawa, one of the fiercest battles of the war, and went on to spend 33 years working for Kaiser Aluminum before retiring in 1982.