SPOKANE, Wash. — A second 16-year-old arrested in the beating death of an 88-year-old World War II veteran was scheduled to make a court appearance Tuesday as the first was being held on $2-million bail.
The first suspect in custody, Demetruis L. Glenn, made an initial court appearance Monday afternoon. He is charged in Spokane County District Court with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. The charges carry a potential life sentence.
District Judge Richard Leland, presiding over a packed courtroom, said the brutality of the attack on a vulnerable victim made the high bail proper. Glenn had turned himself in Thursday night, the same day Delbert Belton died of his injuries. The slightly built youth gave yes and no answers to questions from the judge but otherwise said nothing.
Defense attorney Chris Phelps noted after the hearing that the case had gone viral on the Internet, with many people expressing strong opinions. "The evidence doesn't indicate what happened," Phelps said, adding that witnesses only reported "two kids running away."
The other suspect, Kenan Adams-Kinard, was arrested without incident Monday on a warrant for first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He has a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday.
Both teens will be tried as adults, authorities said.
"The two individuals we believe are responsible for the robbery and murder of Mr. Belton are in custody," Police Chief Frank Straub said at a news conference.
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 was hospitalized and later died.
Straub said it appeared that Belton fought back against his attackers, which may have increased the severity of his beating.
Police received a tip early Monday about Adams-Kinard's location, Straub said. Three other juveniles in the house with the suspect 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, but added that both suspects have criminal records for assault.