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Utah Man Sentenced For Murder in Western Wyoming

Sublette County Sheriff's Office
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office

KEMMERER (AP) — A Utah man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole a year after he and his father killed a Utah rail line worker while they were running from police after they kidnapped a mother and her daughters.

Wednesday, Lincoln County District Court Judge Joseph Bluemel handed down the sentence to Dereck James “DJ” Harrison, 23.

Harrison pleaded guilty in April to first-degree murder in the slaying of 63-year-old Kay Porter Ricks and avoided the death penalty.

Bluemel also sentenced Harrison to a 20- to 22-year prison term for kidnapping to be served consecutively to the life imprisonment term, according to court records.

Prosecutors dismissed another first-degree murder charge and one count of felony wrongful taking or disposing of property.

The case started a year ago when Harrison and his father, Flint Harrison, were paranoid after using methamphetamine and lured a woman and her four teenage daughters to a house in Utah. The woman, who knew the son, was beaten with a baseball bat. She and her daughters escaped.

The Harrisons were on the run for five days.

During the five-day manhunt, authorities said the Harrisons forced Ricks into his work truck, then beat him to death on their way to a remote Wyoming hideout where they were eventually captured.

Flint Harrison later killed himself in a Utah jail.

Dereck Harrison was convicted in Utah last year for the kidnapping of the woman and her daughters.

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