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Utah man charged with killing his wife in front of their kids ages 11 and seven


Utah man ‘stabbed his wife to death in front of their kids ages 11 and seven’ before trying to take his own life

  • John Weston Erickson, 41, was charged with murder on Monday in Utah
  • Police were called to his home in Midvale on October 28 and found his wife dead
  • Erickson had a slash injury on his neck after apparently trying to kill himself
  • Two children, ages 11 and seven, tried in vain to protect their mother 

By Keith Griffith For

Published: | Updated:

John Weston Erickson, 41, was charged with murder on Monday in Utah

A father of two has been charged with murder after police said he stabbed his wife to death in front of their two young children, who tried in vain to stop the attack.

John Weston Erickson, 41, was charged with murder on Monday following the gruesome attack on October 28 in the family’s home in Midvale, Utah, a suburb south of Salt Lake City.

According to charging documents, police arrived at the home and found Utahna Halona Erickson, 41, dead in the master bedroom, and a ‘large amount of blood throughout the residence.’ 

The couple’s seven-year-old daughter, Preslee, told cops she heard her mom scream for ‘help’ and went into their bedroom, where she said she saw her dad ‘cutting my mom open.’

Preslee tried to grab the knife from her father, and suffered ‘extensive injury to her fingers which required surgery to repair,’ police said.

Utahna Halona Erickson (left and with her children right) was found dead in the family’s master bedroom on October 28

Police responded to the family home after the children fled to a neighbor to call 911

The little girl ran from the room to get her older brother Weston to help.   

The 11-year-old boy said kicked and punched his father to try and stop him, but was unsuccessful. 

The boy then ran to a neighbor’s house, screaming that ‘his father was trying to kill his mother,’ and the neighbors called 911.

‘It was my dad that made it happen,’ the boy told police when they arrived.

Cops found John Erickson in the master bedroom with deep slashes on his wrists and neck, and the man told police that he’d tried to kill himself, according to the charging documents.

As he was being treated for his injuries, John Erickson said he just ‘snapped,’ and that ‘one of the sweetest people around took the brunt of my rage,’ according to the charges. 

Erickson has no criminal history in Utah, according to court records. Prosecutors have not released additional information about a possible motive.

He was hospitalized for several days before being released for booking.

Police say that John Erickson tried to kill himself after stabbing his wife to death

Utahna’s family released a statement expressing their heartbreak at the senseless murder.

‘We’re at a loss and our hearts have been crushed since we lost the most beautiful, loving and amazing soul Utahna Halona Erickson,’ the victim’s mother Shirlee Silversmith said.

‘She made everything beautiful and always went out of her way to bring family and friends together,’ she added. ‘She was taken from us way too soon in a way that we will never understand.’ 

Silversmith expressed thanks to all of the police, EMTs and other public servants who had rushed to assist her family, and shared a link to a fundraising page to support Weston and Preslee. 

In addition to murder, John Erickson is charged with child abuse and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, all felonies. 

He is being held at the Salt Lake County jail without bail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf. 


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