One of the teens charged with beating a World War II veteran to death is saying that the violence occurred after a transaction in which he was buying crack from the 88-year-old man went awry.
The family of victim Delbert “Shorty” Belton is calling the allegation bizarre and the police investigating the incident are saying there is no evidence to support the teen’s claim. The lawyer for the other teen accused in the Spokane, Wash., case has also dismissed the notion.
“That’s a bunch of crock,” said daughter-in-law Barbara Belton. “He was a little senile, a little eccentric, but he was not into drugs. Of course these kids are going to make excuses.”
Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn, both 16, are accused of attacking Belton during a robbery attempt in the parking lot outside his Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge. They are being charged as adults with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. Adams-Kinard is the one who is making the claims about crack.
Police seized a letter signed with Adams-Kinard’s name that related the details of the alleged crack deal. According to the letter, after buying a “zip of crack cocaine from Shorty,” the teens “proceeded to sock him.”
It continued: “I took his wallet and another ounce of crack from his pockets,” the letter said. “He was unconscious so I made sure he was still breathing, and then I took off."
Adams-Kinard said the letter was an explanation he was writing to his mother, reports NBC News.
Glenn’s lawyer, Christian Phelps, is skeptical of the claim.
“It doesn’t seem plausible to me,” Phelps said. “I wouldn’t put any stock in it at this point.” He did say that the strange accusation does not necessarily mean the teens are guilty.
“There are no eyewitnesses and no forensic evidence that links either of the kids to the crime,” Phelps said. "A lot of folks just want to throw these kids away and the key — or worse. I would urge people to wait for the facts to develop."