Man sentenced for death of hockey coach

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WEST JORDAN -- A man found guilty of a 2007 murder in Sandy was sentenced Friday morning. Eugene Christopher Wright was convicted April 30 of killing Kenneth Dolezsar outside a Sandy Village Inn restaurant.

Judge Royal Hansen sentenced Wright to 15 years to life in prison for first-degree murder and five years to life for aggravated robbery. Hansen said those sentences will run consecutively, meaning when one is done the other begins.

There is a chance Wright could spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting Dolezsar, who was a businessman and hockey coach at Utah Valley State College at the time of his death in November of 2007.

Dolezsar was shot five times in the upper body and face at close range. Wright then took off in Dolezsar's car, which was later found nearby and abandoned.

Even with all the facts and evidence pointing to Wright, his family and friends say he had nothing to do with the shooting.

"I think even the prosecution was very clear that it was a complex case and that there were other people involved -- and there definitely were -- and I think Christopher was set up from the very beginning. I'm sorry, I do," said Wright's wife, Bianca Pearman-Brooks.

Dolezsar's family, however, says justice was served.

"I think the evidence was really clear, and I think the prosecution did a great job when they said, listen, this is either the most unlucky man that has ever lived or he truly is guilty," said Dolezsar's stepson Robert Steed.

All along, Wright has never admitted having anything to do with the murder. Because of that, the judge decided to rule for the consecutive sentences, saying Wright posed a threat to society.

"I'm devastated," Pearman-Brooks said. "I've lost my husband and he's been taken from me for no reason. He has done nothing, nothing, nothing wrong."

Wright's family says they will now focus their efforts on trying to find the real killer and hope to clear Wright's name. They want Sandy police to investigate evidence that others were involved in the murder of Dolezsar.

"At best, this was an inept investigation. At worst, it was a critical case built against Chris," said Wright's friend David McCammon.

As for Dolezar's family, they're just glad it's over.

"I think justice has been found; and I have to tell you, it's a hard day for both families. It's a great loss," Steed said. "We're just looking forward to the future now. This is good closure for Dee and the rest of the family, and we're just looking forward to moving on."

Wright's attorney said he is planning to appeal this case.


Story compiled with contributions from Alex Cabrero and Cleon Wall.


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