Suspect in beating death of WWII vet says victim shorted him in crack deal

Delbert Belton (Photo courtesy of Belton's friends)

SPOKANE, Wash. -- One of the two teens suspected of beating an 88-year-old World War II veteran to death claimed Tuesday that the vet was selling crack cocaine and shorted them on a drug deal.

The Spokesman-Review said that Spokane police later said they’ve found nothing to support the drug dealing claims by suspected killer Kenan Adams-Kinard, 16.

The boy is being held in lieu of $3 million bail in the case. He and another teen, Demetrius Glenn, 16, are accused of beating to death Delbert Belton in a robbery outside the Eagles Lodge in north Spokane last Wednesday.  Both are being held on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

The victim’s family and friends also described his claims as ridiculous.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the drug dealing claim was contained in a letter police found inside the home where Adams-Kinard was found hiding Monday morning. The contents of the letter were made public during his court appearance Tuesday.

The fatal attack on the elderly survivor of the Battle of Okinawa has drawn international attention.