SPOKANE, Wash. - One year ago Friday, a Spokane World War Two veteran was beaten to death in his car in a Spokane parking lot. Friends and strangers are coming together to honor Shorty Belton, by donating to a cause close to his heart.
Belton was 89 years old when he was killed last August. He was waiting in his car outside the Eagles Club in North Spokane, when he was beaten by two men trying to steal his wallet.
The Gents Auto Club, former Marines and various Eagles Club groups started fundraising two weeks ago, so they would be ready to make donations on the anniversary of Belton's death. They held bake sales, raffles and car shows to raise $3200 for the Inland Northwest Honor Flight.
"He did serve our country and we really appreciate him serving," said Clara Rood, who helped organize the donations.
Turns out, Belton was nearly a recipient of Honor Flight donations himself.
"Shorty had been offered to go twice," Rood said. "But he declined because he figured there were people more worthy of going than him."
The two teenagers accused of killing Belton are awaiting trial. The date has been pushed back several times, but is now scheduled for November. Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn are being held in the juvenile detention center on $2 million bonds.
Friends hope any type of plea bargain involves some serious prison time.
"These two boys, I don't believe they need the death penalty," said Rood. "They just need to serve their time and maybe come out better men than what they were as young men."