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FORT DUCHESNE MAN GETS 8 YEARS FOR ASSAULT

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A Fort Duchesne, Uintah County, man has been sentenced to prison for his role in the beating death of another Fort Duchesne man earlier this year.

Delphine Colorow, 25, was sentenced to serve up to five years for his guilty plea to aggravated assault, a third-degree felony. In addition, 8th District Judge Lynn Payne imposed a multiple offender enhancement penalty to add a minimum of three years to the prison term.Colorow was also ordered to pay more than $5,000 in fines and restitution.

Colorow was arrested Aug. 19 and originally charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping, both first-degree felonies, in connection with the Jan. 28 beating death of Bill Poleviyaoma, 19, of Fort Duchesne.

The incident began at a drinking party at Colorow's home when a fight broke out, apparently over a disagreement over how to fix a hole in the kitchen wall.

Colorow participated in the assault but said he went into his house and passed out and did not participate in additional beatings with a screwdriver and tire rim.

The victim's body was located May 20 at the Fort Duchesne dump.

Colorow will soon return to Vernal to testify in the cases of Valentino Colorow, 21, and Dominque Manning, 16, both of Fort Duchesne. Both are charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping in Poleviyaoma's death.

Prior to sentencing, Payne took statements from the victim's mother and uncle who emotionally detailed the suffering caused by the loss of their son and nephew.

Payne noted that while the defendant had expressed "genuine sorrow" for his actions and for neglecting to come forward with information earlier, he had still "played a significant part in the chain of events leading to Poleviyaoma's death," including beating and kicking the victim when he was helpless.

He said although the defendant eventually stopped the abuse himself, he failed to protect the victim when he was in imminent danger.

"What you did in this case is horrible," Payne told Colorow.

Noting a past history of alcohol abuse, Payne stated that such a problem was not an excuse for criminal behavior.

Defense attorney Alan Williams asked the judge to delay the sentencing imposition while he files arguments questioning the jurisdiction of the court. His challenge took Uintah County Attorney Joanne Stringham by surprise.

Although Poleviyaoma's body was found off of Ute tribal trust lands, the crime Colorow pleaded guilty to occurred in Fort Duchesne on tribal trust land. In most cases, federal penalties for crimes are stiffer than state sentencing guidelines.

Payne took William's motion under advisement but ruled that Colorow will be sent to prison immediately. Williams said he will examine federal statutes to determine if his client would receive a "better deal" in state or federal court, since he will serve at least three years in state prison due to the addition of the enhancement charge.