Many people were horrified at the death of 88-year-old World War II veteran Delbert “Shorty” Belton in the parking lot of his Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge. Belton survived the Battle of Okinawa where he was wounded but lost his life in a parking lot at the hands of teenagers Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn, both 16, in Spokane, Washington. Now, it has been disclosed that Adams-Kinard says that the whole thing was a crack deal gone bad with Belton as the dealer in a type of Geriatric edition of Breaking Bad. The teen said that the whole thing started when they went to get a “zip of crack cocaine from Shorty,”
The allegation was contained in what is described as a letter to Adams-Kinard’s mother. An affidavit from prosecutors recounts how Adams-Kinard told two friends that the beating was the result of a drug deal gone bad and the letter signed by Adams-Kinard repeated the account. It stated “I took his wallet and another ounce of crack from his pockets. He was unconscious so I made sure he was still breathing, and then I took off.” Putting aside the image of an 88-year-old going to the parking lot of the Order of Eagles lodge to sell crack, it is a curious appeal to a mother that we were not doing anything beyond trying to buy “a zip of crack cocaine from Shorty.”
Not only the police, but even Glenn’s lawyer expressed skepticism over the claim of Shorty being a crack dealer.
This could make a situation even worse for Adams-Kinard unless he can prove it. Casting the elderly victim and war hero as a crack dealer is the type of thing that pushes prosecutors to seek the maximum penalty. Belton was barely five feet tall and appears to have tried to fight back during the gruesome beating.