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Price man charged in assault of man, 85, over mailbox dispute now facing homicide charge

Max Heino. (Heino family)
Max Heino. (Heino family)
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A Price, Utah man was charged with homicide by assault -- nearly six months after he was charged for kicking and beating an 85-year-old man and his wife over a mailbox dispute.

According to a probable cause statement, 72-year-old Rikhard Tallent approached 85-year-old Max Edwin Heino and his wife Della Jean Heino while they were sitting on their back porch in Helper back on October 17, 2019.

Police say Tallent was yelling about a mailbox stand when he approached the Heino's gate. Tallent was upset because Max removed his mailbox from the Heino's mailbox stand and put it in Tallent's yard.

Max and Tallent began arguing -- that's when Della Jean Heino stood up and tried to get between them to break it up. Tallent moved Della Jean out of the way by pushing her in the face with his hand. She hurt her face and knee in the struggle but refused medical attention.

Tallent began punching and kicking Max while Della Jean yelled that she was calling the police.

Max Heino died one week later. His obituary says he died on October 25 after "a short illness." He spent his life working in the coal mines of Carbon County.

Tallent allegedly yelled "good, call the police" before leaving in a white car.

Police -- after discovering Tallent had two warrants out for his arrest -- met up with Tallent at his Price home.

Police say that during the visit, Tallent said:

I kicked Max in the nuts.

Police arrested Tallent and initially charged him with two counts of assault, both class B misdemeanors.

The first assault charge was changed to a homicide by assault charge, although it's unclear at this time why it took police more than five months to bring homicide charges.

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2News left a message with authorities but did not immediately hear back.

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