McKEE, Ky. — Police say a man killed a 5-year-old boy and brutally attacked his mother, pushing her off a 77-foot cliff in eastern Kentucky, over $200.
Kentucky State Police detective Charles Brandenburg testified Monday during a preliminary hearing in Jackson County District Court that 41-year-old Lonnie Belt thought the boy's stepfather had stolen the money from him. The stepfather, David Durham, has denied the accusation.
Brandenburg testified that Belt told police he had planned to hold the two hostages until the money was repaid. The detective said he didn't know why Belt instead severely injured 29-year-old Jessica Durham on Sept. 8, striking her in the back of the head with a metal object, before taking her to a different site, where he repeatedly beat her, reports CBS affiliate WKYT.
Eventually, police say Belt took Durham to the woods and kicked her off a cliff. Bradenburg testified that Belt said he killed 5-year-old James Spoonamore because he witnessed the attack.
A judge sent the case to the grand jury. Belt faces multiple charges, including murder.
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now.