A judge ordered the release Wednesday of a videotaped interview with the woman who found Shorty Belton in his vehicle shortly after he was beaten last August.
Police say Belton, a WWII veteran, was the victim of a botched robbery at the Eagles Lodge in North Spokane. Belton died several hours after the attack.
The woman interviewed by police was Natalie Flom, a friend of Belton's. Flom said she met Belton when they danced at a bar two years before and became good friends.
Two teenagers are awaiting trial in Belton's murder, and one of then has alleged they were buying crack from the 89-year old veteran. It's a charge that has not been backed up by any evidence in the case and was refuted in Flom's taped testimony with detectives.
“It's hilarious, and I think he's got a very good sense of humor, so I know he's laughing right now,” Flom told detectives. “And, it's horrible, too. It's bad enough they did what they did to him. Now, they're trying to disgrace his name and reputation. He's been a very decent person in his life. He really has.”
Flom said she never heard Belton talk about drugs or saw him take any. She said he liked to drink beer and said he allowed himself "one and a half beers" on Saturdays.
She also said the night of the attack she saw two black men running from Belton's car, but added she only the names of the two – Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn – after they were both arrested and their names were shown on local TV newscasts.