Stolen property belonging to a well-known dog breeder and trainer killed in December in his Kansas City, Kan., home was found in the apartment of the man now charged in his murder, according to court testimony Friday.
That testimony came in Wyandotte County District Court during a preliminary hearing for 50-year-old Darrell Lee Broxton, who is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Peter Belmont Jr.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Belmont, 69, a retired art teacher who was renowned in the national and international show dog community, was found dead Dec. 16 inside his residence in the 3000 block of North 115th Street.
A doctor testified that his skull had been split open with a sharp-edged implement such as a hatchet.
Police identified Broxton as a suspect after Belmont’s van was found in early January in Kansas City. The man who had the van told police that he had gotten it from a man he knew as “Shorty.” Police discovered that Shorty was actually a homeless Kansas City man named James E. Hunter.
Hunter testified that he saw Broxton driving the van sometime in mid-December. He said the van was loaded with televisions and other items, matching what other witnesses said were missing from Belmont’s home.
Hunter said he and Broxton sold some of the items for drugs. Hunter said he later traded the van for more drugs.
Broxton was arrested in April. He is also charged with burglary to an auto and two counts of theft. Broxton told police that he met Belmont several years earlier and said he had last spoken to him on the phone a few weeks before the killing.
Testimony in the preliminary hearing will continue Wednesday. A judge will then determine if there is probable cause to have Broxton stand trial for the killing.