Teenager Arrested in Death of World War II Veteran

A World War II veteran was killed in an apparent robbery attempt and Spokane police are saying teenage boys are to blame. One teenager is in custody and police want to speak to another in connection with the crime.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested for robbing and beating an 88-year-old WWII veteran, Delbert Belton, to death in a parking lot. Belton was in front of his lodge on Wednesday night when he was attacked. The teenagers allegedly beat him in the face so badly that it would have caused significant brain damage had the victim not died the next morning.

The veteran, who also went by the nickname Shorty, had survived World War II with wounds. He had been shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa. He had also retired from work at an aluminum company. Friends described Belton as a generous man who did not let age slow him down. He loved to dance and work on cars.

Police did not release the names of the suspects because they are minors. Police can say that the teenager in custody will be charged with first-degree robbery and murder. The teens were identified based on surveillance camera footage.


WWII vet beaten