A Uintah County man will stand trial on first-degree felony charges of murder and aggravated kidnapping in the beating death of a Ft. Duchesne resident last January.
Following a preliminary hearing Friday in 8th District Court in Vernal, Judge A. Lynn Payne found probable cause to bind Valentino Colorow, 21, over for trial in the Jan. 28 beating death of 19-year-old Bill A. Poleviyaoma.The victim's body was discovered May 20, at the Ft. Duchesne dump east of Roosevelt. It was found 277 feet from Ute Tribal trust land. Because law enforcement authorities originally believed the site was on trust land, the case was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the chief investigating agency. When BLM maps later pinpointed the ground as non-trust land, the Uintah County sheriff's office joined in the case.
One law enforcement official characterized the homicide as "probably the most hideous murder that has ever occurred in the Uintah Basin."
Prosecutors alleged Colorow, along with Dominique Manning, 15, of Ft. Duchesne, kicked and beat the victim repeatedly in the torso and head, stabbed him numerous times with a screwdriver, transported his body to the Ft. Duchesne dump and then used a tire rim to shatter his skull. They said the altercation allegedly occurred during a drinking party at the Ft. Duchesne home of Delphine Colorow, 25.
Manning has been certified to stand trial as an adult in the murder case. He is also charged with first-degree felony counts of murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is being held in juvenile detention in Vernal while awaiting court proceedings.
Delphine Colorow was also arrested in connection with the crime. He pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of third-degree felony aggravated assault in the case.
Delphine Colorow admitted to beating Poleviyaoma but was not a participant in the attacks with the screwdriver and tire rim. Delphine testified he had passed out inside the home and did not accompany Valentino and Manning to the dump to dispose of the body.
He remains in the Uintah County Jail pending sentencing.
According to court testimony by FBI Special Agent Mike McPheters, at the time of his June 11 arrest, Valentino Colorow stated he witnessed Manning and Delphine Colorow take the victim outside of the home and beat him with their feet and fists. He admitted dragging Poleviyaoma's body to a "shed" in a nearby home, following the beating before returning to the party they were attending.
McPheters said a short time later, Valentino stated Poleviyaoma was seen staggering across the street to another home.
"Valentino Colorov and Dominique Manning went outside of the house to go get Bill and bring him back. Valentino then pulled him to the rear of the house again."
At that time, McPheters said Valentino reported the beatings by Manning resumed. Shortly after that, Valentino told McPheters he retrieved a screwdriver from the house and gave it to Manning, who began stabbing the victim in the neck area.
The pair then put Poleviyaoma's body in the trunk of a car and drove to the Gusher dump where they removed the body. McPheters told the court that while at the dump, Valentino claimed Manning repeatedly slammed a tire rim on the top of the victim's skull.
Valentino denied participating in the beatings, stabbing and subsequent assault with the tire rim, and said he simply watched Manning carry out the deed, McPheters said.
Contrary to claims made by Valentino to law enforcement officials, Delphine Colorow testified Friday that it was not Manning he saw stabbing Poleviyaoma, but Valentino. Delphine is Valentino's uncle.
He also swore under oath that Valentino and Manning returned to his bedroom sometime after the murder allegedly occurred and said "they had killed him."
A second prosecution witness, Wayland Angelias, 23, Ft. Duchesne, testified that Valentino told him in late January that "he might have killed somebody.
"He said he did it at a house or something. He hit him over the head with a tire rim and put him inside of a trunk and drove around and dropped off the body somewhere.
Jerome Mooney, defense counsel for Valentino, said he will file motions to suppress statements made by his client to FBI Agent McPheters prior to trial. A suppression hearing has been set for Oct. 24.
Valentino Colorow is being held in the Uintah County Jail.