Teens suspected of murdering WWII vet appear in court
The two teenagers accused of beating an 88-year-old World War II veteran to death sat side-by-side in a Spokane courtroom Thursday, as their attorneys argued over a continuance that could push a jury trial to March or April.
An attorney for Demetruis Glenn, 16, said he was prepared to refute all evidence that has been collected by the state in the case, pending results of DNA testing, when the trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 4.
“I understand (the case) involves forensic evidence, and there’s some delay in that,” said Christian Phelps, who is representing Glenn in the case. “But that’s not an excuse to not prosecute the case timely.”
Glenn and Kenan Adams-Kinard, also 16, are accused of beating Delbert Belton in his car outside the Eagles Ice Arena in north Spokane on Aug. 21. Belton later died of his injuries. The teens say Belton shorted them on a deal for crack cocaine.
Adams-Kinard’s attorney, Derek Reid, had stated his intentions to file a motion for a continuance prior to Thursday’s hearing. But he told Judge James Triplet he’d rather take that up with a preassigned trial judge later this week and did not make a formal request Thursday morning.
Triplet advised the attorneys that based on court schedules, should a trial judge grant a continuance the case may not be heard by a jury until March or April. Prosecutors prefer to try the teens together, and court rules require attorneys requesting separation of co-defendants in such a case to prove a joint trial would be prejudicial before the court will consider splitting up proceedings.
The two teens could appear in court again as early as this afternoon for a pre-trial conference. It was originally scheduled for Friday.
This story is developing and will be updated with more information as it is available.