09/25/2017 16:20 EDT | Updated 09/25/2017 16:55 EDT

5-Year-Old Killed, Mother Pushed Off Cliff Over $200: Police

The suspect thought the boy's father had stolen the money.

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MCKEE, Ky. — Police say a man killed a five-year-old boy and brutally attacked his mother, pushing her off a 23-metre cliff in eastern Kentucky, over US$200.

Media report 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 hostage 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, but the suspect indicated that he killed James Spoonamore because he witnessed the attack.

A judge sent the case to the grand jury. Belt faces multiple charges, including murder.

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