Shorty Benton, His Life Mattered



Photo of Kenan Adams-Kinard, still at-large

Police are looking for Kenan Adams-Kinard, 16, one of the suspects in the beating death of Delbert ‘Shorty’ Benton.

They have another 16-year old suspect in custody – Demetrius Glen – who has been charged with first degree robbery and first degree murder.

Demetrius Glen

Photo of Demetrius Glen

Two wasted young lives.

They viciously beat 88-year old Shorty Benton to death as he waited for his friend in his car.


Photo of Delbert Benton

Shorty Benton, a retired aluminum worker who lost his wife six years ago, was a World War II veteran. He was shot in the leg while in service of his country at the great battle of Okinawa.

He was beloved by everyone who knew him.

His great nephew, Allen Hills, said that when he needed help, Shorty was there for him. Shorty offered him a car and a place to stay. He helped him get on his feet and his nephew credited him with saving his life as he fought back tears.

Shorty worked on cars every day with his 43-year old friend, Ted Denison. Occasionally, they played pool together. They had breakfast together, went dancing on Saturday nights, and hung out at the garage.

Delbert also liked to play pool with his buddies from Kaiser Aluminum where he worked for 30 years. That’s why he was at the Eagles Lounge Wednesday night – to play pool with his buddies. He was waiting for a friend in his car at about 8 pm to walk her home because he didn’t want her to have to walk home alone at night.

As he waited outside the Eagles Lodge in Spokane, two cowardly thugs came upon him. They wanted to rob him but maybe they also wanted to kill someone they thought had no value.

They beat him so badly about the face and head that doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding. He was left unrecognizable, left to die in his car.

His 65-year old son happened to be in the same hospital his dad was taken and where his dad passed away. His son is suffering from cancer. He’s very upset according to his wife Barbara.

Shorty’s daughter-in-law, Barbara Benton said that Shorty would have been left with severe brain damage had he survived. She said she couldn’t grasp what the police were telling her when they tracked her down – it seemed unreal.

Shorty – Delbert – was beaten with flashlights, not guns. Should we regulate them now? Don’t we blame the weapon, not the criminal in this country?

Asked what she would say to the perpetrators, Barbara Belton said: “What motivates you to do such a horrendous thing to an old man?”

“He didn’t drive a big fancy car. He didn’t dress in expensive clothes. He didn’t have a lot of money. He had very little money,” she said. “What did they think they were going to get from this man?”

Lillian Duncan, a longtime friend said, “He was so awesome,” she said. “Anybody that didn’t get to know him missed out on a wonderful angel in their life.”

Now he is with the angels but he never should have died that way.