Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WWII vet, 88, fought back against teens who beat him to death

Delbert Belton Murder Update
WWII vet, 88, fought back against teens who beat him to death, police say
Erin Donaghue
August 26, 2013

(CBS) SPOKANE, Wash. -- World War II veteran Delbert Belton may have fought back against the two teens suspected of beating him to death outside a Spokane, Wash. Ice-A-Rena, police said in a news conference Monday morning, reports CBS affiliate KREM.

Belton, who was shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa, was killed during an apparent robbery Wednesday outside the Eagles Ice-A-Rena. Authorities say two young men attacked Belton in his car outside the arena as he was waiting for a friend.

"Our information is that the individual fought back and that may have made this, you know, a worse situation," said Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub in a press conference Monday morning. "I'm not being critical of Mr. Belton, we certainly encourage individuals to fight back, and he should have. But it shouldn't have happened to begin with."

The victim's daughter-in-law said Belton was hit with "big heavy flashlights" and doctors told her he was bleeding from all parts of his face, reports the station.

After identifying two suspects, police arrested two 16-year-old males. One turned himself in to authorities Thursday, a second was arrested early Monday in a Spokane basement apartment. Both teens are charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree murder. They will be tried as adults, reports the Los Angeles Times, and are being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

Tips from the community and the second suspect's family helped police hone in on his location, he said.
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