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Second teen arrested in beating death of World War II veteran

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane police on Monday arrested a second teen suspect in last week’s beating death of an 88-year-old World War II veteran who authorities say probably fought back against his attackers. The second suspect was arrested without incident early Monday morning at a friend’s house in Spokane, police said. The first suspect turned himself in last week.

Both suspects are 16 years old and face charges of murder and robbery in the death of Delbert Belton last Wednesday.

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Belton, who was wounded in the battle of Okinawa, was beaten to death in his vehicle as he waited for a friend in the parking lot of an Eagles Lodge in north Spokane.

Police Chief Frank Straub said it appeared that Belton fought back against his attackers, and that may have contributed to the severity of the beating his received.

The first suspect surrendered to authorities last Thursday night, and is in the Spokane County Jail. His identity has not been released because he is a juvenile.

The second suspect was arrested in a basement apartment in Spokane just after 3 a.m. Monday. His identity and photograph were released as police searched for him, but the Associated Press, which typically does not identify juveniles accused of crimes, is no longer using his name because he is in custody. Three other juveniles with him were arrested for investigation of rendering criminal assistance, a felony, Straub said.

Straub said police received a tip early Monday about the location of the second suspect.

‘‘The motive for this attack was robbery,’’ Straub said. ‘‘There is no gang activity associated with this incident.’’ Belton’s wallet was taken, Straub said.

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