Posted on January 8, 2015

Teen Pleads Guilty in Beating Death of WWII Veteran

CBS News, January 8, 2015

A 17-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder in the beating death of 88-year-old Delbert Belton, a World War II veteran who survived the battle of Okinawa but was killed in a robbery outside a Washington state bar in 2013.

Kenan Adams-Kinard pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for two lesser charges being dropped. He faces a standard sentence to 20 to 27 years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.

Kenan Adams-Kinard

Kenan Adams-Kinard

Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn were both 16 when they were charged with severely beating Belton in his car on Aug. 21, 2013, during a robbery. The veteran died of his injuries the next day.

Prosecutors subsequently charged both teens as adults with first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

The beating death of the diminutive veteran, who was known as “Shorty,” sparked outrage in Spokane.

Delbert "Shorty" Belton

Delbert “Shorty” Belton


Under terms of the deal, Adams-Kinard would serve 20 years in prison, with credit for time already served. He would remain in a juvenile jail until age 21, and serve three years of probation after his eventual release. However, the sentencing judge is not bound by that deal, Cozza said.

Glenn turned himself in to police shortly after surveillance photos were distributed by investigators. Adams-Kinard was found by police a few days later, hiding in an apartment.

Adams-Kinard claimed in a letter to his mother that Belton was a drug dealer and had shorted them in a crack cocaine deal. Police dismissed those claims as unfounded.