Jackson County man accused of fatally bludgeoning child due in court Monday

JACKSON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) —  A Kentucky man who is accused of fatally bludgeoning a child  plead not guilty to the charge of murder in a Jackson County courtroom Monday.

Police say Lonnie Belt kidnapped 5-year-old James Spoonamore and his mother, 29-year-old Jessica Durham and took them to a secluded and wooded area.

An arrest citation says Belt and Durham got into an argument about money. Belt allegedly hit her on the head, tied her up and took her to a cliff and pushed her off of it.

Authorities say Durham survived, but days later the body of her 5-year-old son was found in the woods near where she had been attacked.

Police say  Belt is charged with kidnapping and assaulting the boy’s mother.

Belt was also charged with murder for the death of 5-year-old James Spoonamore, according to investigators.

Belt’s next court hearing is September 25th at 9:30 a.m.


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MCKEE, Ky. (AP) – An arrest citation for a Kentucky man accused of assaulting a woman and killing her son reveals he allegedly admitted to striking the child in the head several times with a metal object.

Local news outlets report according to state police the 41-year-old was charged with murder and other offenses on Monday after the 5-year-old’s body was found.

The citation says Lonnie Jay Belt admitted to taking 29-year-old Jessica Durham and her son, James Spoonamore, against their will to a secluded, wooded area on Friday. It says Belt assaulted Durham and pushed her off a cliff. Belt allegedly took the boy to a separate area.

Durham survived the attack. James did not.

It is unclear if Belt has an attorney. He has a preliminary court hearing set for Sept. 18.

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