Teen gets 20 year sentence for WWII vet’s killing
SPOKANE, Wash. — Kenan Adams Kinard was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for his role in the fatal beating of elderly WWII veteran Delbert “Shorty” Belton in August 2013.
Adams Kinard changed his plea to guilty just last month, a year and a half after he beat Belton as he sat in a car waiting for a friend outside the Eagles Ice Arena in north Spokane. Found barely clinging to life minutes after the attack, Belton was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries the following morning.
“Uncle Delbert was brutally and savagely beaten to the point they couldn’t put his face back together,” one of Belton’s nephew’s told the court about the beating, saying his uncle had as much of a chance as an eight-year-old as he was being pummeled, during the victim impact statement phase of the sentencing Thursday afternoon. “This was not a beating. This was exceptionally cruel.”
Tracy Allen had a hard time believing she was standing in court, with her son standing at the defendant’s table next to his attorney, as she discussed his upbringing, how he had attended school, gone to church on Sundays, played organized basketball, discussed her son’s abilities on the court with his coaches, which stood in contrast with what the public knew of him through Belton’s murder. She knew he’d made some good choices as well as bad as a teenager – what teen hadn’t she asked – and said that as Kenan’s mother no one in the courtroom knew what she was feeling, but asked the court for leniency for her son.
“I trust and believe that all things are possible … Your Honor I’m asking you show grace and mercy on my son,” she said.
Adams Kinard read a statement to the court, saying he had wept because of the shame and guilt that weighed heavy on his soul, and that he was not the same selfish, angry teen who first stood before Judge Annette Plese after his arrest in 2013.
“For too long I’ve had resentment toward authority, toward guidance, and ultimately toward the man in the mirror, but no longer,” he told the court.
Plese noted that Adams Kinard took accountability for his actions, “that’s what a does” but agreed with the recommendation that he be sentenced to 20 years in prison, minus time served.
As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Adams Kinard agreed to confess to the beating attack on Belton in exchange for prosecutors dropping robbery and conspiracy charges against him.
Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell explained last month that the sentencing recommendation being made by his office – approximately 20 years in prison – was appropriate considering the nature of the crime.
“The age of Mr. Kenan Kinard at the time of this incident, 16 years old, and including 16 year old immaturity, impetuosity and failure to appreciate risks, and consequences of an act, and also including the defendant’s home environment, and the facts that no weapons were used in the commission of this crime,” Haskell said shortly after Adams Kinard entered his plea.
Demetrius Glenn, Adams Kinard’s co-defendant, requested a continuance from Judge Sam Cozza as soon as he received word about the plea deal. Both had been scheduled to go to trial last month but, when Adams Kinard changed his plea, Glenn requested the continuance, which Judge Plese granted through March 2, which now gives him and his defense attorney time to research his legal options.