Man arrested for wife’s murder

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Submitted: Mon, 09/05/2011 - 3:12pm
Updated: Tue, 09/06/2011 - 1:27am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is behind bars accused of murdering his wife. It happened around 4:15 p.m. Sunday in a trailer park off of South Kerr Avenue.

Monday morning yellow tape still marked the crime scene. A day earlier police responded to assist EMS. Inside the trailer officers found 55-year-old Diane Clemmons Belton dead. She’d been shot once in the head.

Police later arrested the victim’s husband, Davis Ray Belton, for the crime.

A neighbor, who did want to give us her name, says she was shocked to hear the news. She says she did not know the Beltons very well and says the couple seemed to keep to themselves.

“They were just quiet,” the neighbor said. “If I saw them, they would just be on the porch for a second or leaving to get into their car or going into their house.They were never outside hanging out or anything like that.”

Other neighbors, who did not want to go on camera, say the couple seemed like good, friendly people, but they seldom talked with other neighbors.

After questioning Davis Belton Sunday evening, police charged him with second degree murder.

Davis Belton is currently in the New Hanover County Jail without bond.


  • Beverly McCarter says:

    I just found out about this last weekend as I don’t live in the coastal region anymore. This did not surprise me AT ALL. He was a monster. The absolute meanest person that walked this earth. He was a drunk and a dope addict. I had a friend that was with him for a few years. Thank God she was finally able to get out of that realtionship. He gave her a very hard time. So many times I had to get her out and away from him. One of the last times I picked her up at Dosher Hospital. She had been “pistol whipped” by Ray. She was beat to a pulp. She had no shoes and no way to get back into her home to get clothes. I had to buy her shoes. This man is the devil. I hope he gets what he deserves. To Diane’s family. I am so sorry about your loss. I am even more sorry that she met Ray.

  • debi says:

    Steve, Christy and family: I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s death. Men like Ray Belton are cowards who have to hide behind physical abuse, and do their best to hurt good women. I didn’t know your mom, but from what I’ve read about her, she was a good woman. She didn’t deserve what happened to her, and she didn’t deserve anyone like Ray. She deserved better. I pray that justice is served and Ray never sees the light of day again for his actions.

    I was abused too, but I’m one of the lucky ones who got away from my abuser. I wish that she had been able to get away from him too, or that he’d have been caught before it came to this, and put away. Unfortunately, when an abuser hurts someone, it always hurts the entire family, and when they kill, it destroys everyone. Please focus your anger and hate on Ray who is the one who deserves it, and do what you can to help other abused women in your mom’s name. She sounds like a wonderful lady. Love to each of your families, and lots of strength.

  • Guest says:

    So sorry for your loss. I worked with your niece & even when she was gruff & fussing with the guys she was funny. Will miss her deeply. May God keep you in your time of grief.

  • Guest says:

    This article saddens me,not only is Diane my sister’s daughter, but she is my niece! It doesn’t matter if she lived in a mansion or a trailer……she was murdered and she is someone’s daughter, a mother, a grandmother,sister, Aunt, Niece, cousin and most impotantly a true child of God! Her family loves her and will forever miss her!

  • curious says:

    I worked with her several years ago and she was a nice lady, she did not deserve to be killed…especailly by her husband. Do the police or anyone know why?

  • Statement says:

    About trailers, locations, what someone is wearing. The point of this whole topic is the fact that a wife, mother, grandmother, sister was shot by her crazy husband, and yes may she rest in peace along with some other people who debate on the irrelevent!

  • G Moore says:

    I would like to know the outcome of these charges against Mr Belton. He is not listed on the pending court calenders in North Carolina or the State offender search in the prison system. Did he in fact, get by with another murder?

  • Lisa Turner says:

    I am not surprised that Ray would kill his wife. I was married to him in the early 80s and he shot at me and would threaten to kill my whole family if I left. I finally got away. I really feel bad for this woman’s family and it is terrible that he left her for dead and went to sleep, then called 911 the next day. This is cold blooded murder and he is a monster. I know. I am glad he is behind bars, he is a sociopath and probably feels no remorse about this killing. She was a daughter, a mother, a grandmother and I am sure that this cold blooded murder has been a terrible shock to them. I am so sorry for them. I have had not contact with him since the early 90s. He has done terrible things that will probably never come up, but he is finally charged with Murder and will get what is coming to him. It still will never replace the wonderful woman that probably took care or him and kept him up. He left her dead and went to get some brandy. How cold is that! It was no accident and there is not telling the terror she had to deal with living with him and listening to his threats. She probably kept it to herself and tried to keep hims as calm as possible so that she would not get hurt. He loved to wave guns around and threaten women. I hope the case is tight enough to where he will go and die in prison. That is what he deserves!

  • Steve LaFrance says:

    Lisa, I’m going to keep this brief. I’m Diane’s son and I would really like to meet you. I live in Greensboro with my wife and two sons. Please contact the WPD to get my contact information so we can talk. Thank you and God bless. Steve

  • Marc Ash says:

    I worked with this lady for several years & considered her a good friend. I am saddened & disgusted to hear about this. Ms Belton could be loud & ornery but hey, she worked in a prison. She had a heart of gold & very respected by both the staff & inmates alike. I hope justice really kicks her husband in the….you know.

  • Guest says:

    Is it really important to mention that it was a “trailer”?

  • Guest says:

    U must live in a trailer!! If it was in a single family home it would have been mentioned as well.

  • Guest says:

    Check it out homey. The article say trailer park, a geographical term frequently used in our society. While “mobile home park” might satisfy your problem, it’s still another senseless murder. So why the heck does the word trailer even matter?

  • Guest says:

    all i can say to those of you who think you’re better than us because you dont live in a trailer park is, you put your pants on the same way i do just remember man makes the money money never makes the man! your living arrangements dont make you a better person than me not even close to my opinion having all the fancy things makes the rest of you that dont live the way we do show just how smart you are for wasting money ,the thing that us that do live in our “trailers” dont take for granted.matter of fact its the people like us who are not scared to get dirty or work hard for a living keep the people that think they’re too good but arent smart enough to do anything, able to get to your fancy jobs!but guess what we’re actually happier than you little rich kids because we are not in a constant struggle to impress everybody we know how to actually live and enjoy life!

  • GuestLee says:

    I think you misread the post. He was questioning why the fact that it was a trailer park should have even been mentioned in the article. I don’t believe his post was meant as a “put down” to folks who live in trailer parks.

    Reporting the location is routine procedure on articles such as this.

  • Guest says:

    many of the people who love to make these trailer jokes usually live in apartments or starter homes – the “trailer” of the urban world! Everyone wants to look down on someone I guess and it’s easy for them to make fun of the working class because it’s PC to do so. People also think mobile homes are a free PC target because the residents are working class whites. Nothing is further from the truth. Mobile home parks are probably some of the more racially diverse neighborhoods there are. One of my first jobs out of college required me to visit a lot of mobile home parks & public housing and I met people of all races in the MHPs. I’ll say this for them too – they’re a heck of a lot safer places to be than public housing, which is NEVER an “allowable” thing to poke fun of publicly. Sure, things happen in MHPs but on the whole, I never worried for my safety while visiting them.

    I grew up in a brick house, lived in many apartments during college & young adult years and now I’m back in a brick house. During my young adult years in Wilmington, I noticed so many of my apartment dwelling neighbors making “trailer trash” remarks while seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are viewed in much the same way by the single family homeowners around them. Again, everyone wants to look down on someone. No matter which neighborhood you live in, there’s someone a few streets over making jokes at your expense.

  • GuestLee says:

    “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt.

    I lived in a trailer in a mobile home park when I first moved away from home at 21 years of age. It was great to have my own place, and I kept it neat as a pin. I didn’t have much to start with, but I soon outgrew my little trailer. I now live in a brick home that I’ve owned for 30 years, and I’m very happy with it. But I often think back on that little trailer and the sense of pride I had of my first little place and living on my own.

    Remember, it ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

  • Guest says:

    i think before we forget the real reason of this article is for us to remember this lady and whatever life she lived and may she rest in peace. alot of us do alot of different things in life be it good or bad but taking someone’s life isn’t the answer

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