Kenan Adams-Kinard, the second suspect in the beating death of WWII veteran Delbert Belton, made his first appearance in court on murder and robbery charges Tuesday afternoon.
Even though spectators could only see Adams-Kinard, 16, via closed circuit television from the jail there was extra security in the courtroom, where prosecutors unleashed a bombshell allegation.
Spokane Police found a letter written by Adams-Kinard which alleged Belton, 88, was selling Adams-Kianrd and Demetrius Glenn crack cocaine, an allegation not substantiated by either police or prosecutors.
Detectives accuse Adams-Kinard and Glenn of killing Belton last week while allegedly stealing the veteran's wallet. It wasn't the first time Adams-Kinard had committed a strong arm robbery.
On May 15, three months before Adams-Kinard allegedly beat Belton to death, the 16-year-old committed a strong arm robbery, stealing a woman's cell phone out of her hand, the whole incident caught on STA surveillance video.
"He's looking, I mean he's obviously checking, looking to see who's around him and grabs it and goes," Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller said while reviewing the surveillance video.
The bus driver told the victim the whole incident has been recorded by an onboard security camera and the video handed over to police
"District 81 was able to identify him as a student of theirs and we followed up with him and he still had the same backpack on when we caught up with him and booked him for first degree robbery," Fuller said.
Adams-Kinard was brought to the Juvenile Detention cCnter and immediately began serving his sentence of 19 days and made full restitution of $400. Even though Adams-Kinard was swiftly punished it wasn't enough to keep him from allegedly escalating his violent, criminal behavior as, a little more than three months later Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn allegedly attacked Belton.
"It's sad to see because the criminal justice system and the Spokane Police Department, everybody worked to put this together and get him to answer for this crime and unfortunately he obviously didn't learn from that and it did escalate into the tragic loss of Mr. Belton's life," Fuller said.
Judge Debra Hayes, who first set Adams-Kinard's bail at $2 million, increased it to $3 million because he did not turn himself in like his co-defendant Glenn did. Judge Hayes also ordered that Adams-Kinard be moved over to the adult jail for security reasons.
As for the allegations that Belton was a drug dealer, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub has on more than one occasion has saluted Belton for his service to his country, and probably would not have done that if a search of the veteran's car also turned up crack cocaine.
Belton has no criminal history and this claim made by Adams-Kinard that the elderly WWII veteran was dealing drugs appears to be an implausible red herring.