MIDVALE — “It was my dad that made it happen,” John Erickson’s 11-year-old son, Weston, told police as he recounted how he and his sister tried to save their mother from a brutal attack.
Their father, John Weston Erickson, 41, of Midvale, was charged Monday with murder, a first-degree felony, in the stabbing death of Utahna Halona Erickson, 41, who was killed in front of their two children.
John Erickson is also charged in 3rd District Court with child abuse, a second-degree felony; and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony.
On Oct. 28, Erickson repeatedly stabbed his wife, Halona, in their home, 115 W. Settlement Circle, until she was dead, according to charging documents.
The couple’s 7-year-old daughter, Preslee, told police she heard her mom scream for “help” and went into their bedroom. There, she saw her dad with a knife “cutting my mom open,” the charges state.
Preslee tried to get the knife away from her father, but cut her hand, according to the charges. She suffered “extensive injury to her fingers which required surgery to repair.”
After being cut, she left the room to get her brother to help. Weston kicked and punched his father to try and stop him, but ended up running to a neighbor’s house, telling the neighbor that “his father was trying to kill his mother,” according to the charges.
“It was my dad that made it happen,” the boy told police.
When officers arrived, they found Halona deceased on the floor, and Erickson on his bed with self-inflicted cutting wounds to his wrists and and neck, the charges state. Erickson made statements such as “she’s dead” and “I meant for that,” as officers were treating him, according to the court documents.
He further stated that he just “snapped,” and that “one of the sweetest people around took the brunt of my rage,” according to the charges.
Erickson was hospitalized for several days before he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.
Halona’s family released a statement on Oct. 30 saying that their hearts are crushed, and encouraged anyone who is the victim of domestic violence to get help by calling the Utah Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).
Erickson has no criminal history in Utah, according to court records. A possible motive for the crime has not been revealed.