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Utah player accused of trying to kill wife kicked off team

The SportsXchange

The University of Utah has kicked defensive tackle Koliniasi Mona Leota off the team after Leota was accused of beating up and trying to kill his wife in front of their 2-year-old child.

The Deseret News said the 24-year-old Leota is facing three felony charges and four misdemeanor counts stemming from an argument that is alleged to have occurred on Feb. 17. Leota is accused of punching his wife in the head and face in their Salt Lake City apartment.

The 6-foot-4, 278-pound Leota told his wife to go into the bathroom to clean up the blood, according to court documents that the newspaper cited. While in the bathroom, Leota allegedly hit his wife in the head with a curling iron, then wrapped the iron's cords around his hands and tried to strangle her.

Leota is then accused of trying to stab his wife in the throat with the towel bar that he ripped from the wall. According to the Salt Lake County Jail report, he also allegedly try to electrocute his wife in a bathtub full of water with the electrical wires.

"We will do everything we can to help Niasi and his family get through this situation, but obviously we do not tolerate this kind of behavior," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement.

Leota recorded six tackles in 10 games last season, had been suspended from the team after being arrested and then kicked off once formal charges were filed.

He is being held on $250,000 bail and has a court appearance scheduled for Monday.
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