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Charges filed in January beating death

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Rondall Eddie

Rondall Eddie

Three people involved in last month's beating and killing of an Ogden man were charged in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City Thursday.

Rondall Eddie, 19, of West Valley City, left a home where he attended an after- work party with George Yazzie Benally on the night of Jan. 5. According to court documents, the two began arguing about the way Eddie was dressed and how he "acted like a gangster and a punk," and Benally pulled over. It was then that Eddie began beating Benally, kicking and hitting him, and "left him lying on the ground," as stated in court documents.

Police were later dispatched to a parking lot at 7220 S. 900 East, where Benally was found bleeding from a severe head wound. He was taken, unidentified, to the hospital in critical condition. For several days, police did not know who he was, until a friend recognized him from a TV news report. Benally never regained consciousness and died on Jan. 12.

Phone records and witness reports led police to Eddie, who had told friends that he beat Benally "so bad it killed him," as court documents state. He also asked them to help him get rid of Benally's car.

His friends later admitted to police to helping Eddie abandon Benally's vehicle and dispose of his belongings. They also used Benally's cell phone to make several calls, as stated in court documents.

Eddie is charged with first-degree felonies criminal homicide and aggravated burglary and second-degree felony obstructing justice. He is being held in Salt Lake County Jail on $1 million cash-only bail.A 20-year-old female allegedly involved in the incident is charged with felony obstruction of justice and evidence tampering. She is out of jail on bail, but a judge has issued a warrant for her arrest. Another man, 22, is in jail on numerous prior warrants and has additionally been charged with obstructing justice and theft by receiving stolen property.

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com