Whidbey News-Times


Island County prosecutor to dismiss assault charge against murderer

Whidbey News-Times Co-editor
September 4, 2013 · Updated 8:40 AM

The Island County Prosecutor’s Office is dismissing a felony assault charge against a former Oak Harbor man after realizing that he was convicted of murder in a high-profile Virginia Beach case.

Prosecutors charged Lester R. Belmar Jr., 30, in Island County Superior Court Aug. 14 with assault in the second degree.

Belmar was accused of throwing a Navy security officer over a porch railing following a traffic stop on Seaplane Base housing on July 31, 2012, according to court documents.

The officer sustained a concussion with loss of consciousness, cervical strain and contusions.

Belmar identified himself as a retired Navy master-at-arms who was married to a Navy logistics specialist.

The investigative report by a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service noted that Belmar was charged with murder in Virginia for shooting someone while working as a security guard in May 2011, but then moved to Oak Harbor with his wife and lived in base housing.

The special agent reviewed the Virginia case in August 2012 and contacted a Virginia Beach detective who said he wasn’t sure about the status of the case, but he thought the charges had been dropped, the NCIS report states.

In fact, Belmar was tried and found guilty of second-degree murder in October 2012.

He was sentenced this summer to 28 years in prison, with 13 years suspended.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said he was contacted by NCIS this week with the news of Belmar’s conviction and sentence. He plans to dismiss the assault case.

According to a press release from the city of Virginia Beach, Belmar was working as a security guard at a night club called Hangar 9 and was wearing a belt with pepper spray.

As the club closed down, many patrons went over to a 7-Eleven store several hundred yards away and security guards from Hangar 9’s property followed, though they did not have permission to serve as security at the convenience store.

Fights broke out in the 7-Eleven parking lot, and pepper spray was used to break up part of the crowd on more than one occasion.

Darryl Spencer, the victim, and two of his friends got into a verbal argument inside Hangar 9 that continued in the 7-Eleven parking lot. A car leaving the parking lot fired gunshots in the direction of 7-Eleven where Spencer and his friends were getting into their car.

Most of the security staff ducked for cover. Spencer fired a shotgun once, striking a car and its driver who was leaving the parking lot.

As Spencer ducked back into a car, Belmar fired two shots at Spencer. One struck Spencer in the back of the head, killing him instantly, and continued into the back of the driver.

The driver survived but has a bullet permanently lodged in his spine.

During an interview with investigators, Belmar stated that he didn’t know for certain whether Spencer had a shotgun or not.

Belmar admitted he did not see Spencer shoot the shotgun, and that he did not have any encounters with Spencer that evening, according to the press release.


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