Two Utah children desperately tried to stop their father from killing their mother, even getting into a physical confrontation that left one of the children with an “extensive wound” to her hand, authorities say.
John Weston Erickson, 41, was charged Monday with first-degree murder, child abuse and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child after allegedly stabbing his wife to death in front of his children leaving behind “a large amount of blood throughout the residence,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The couple’s 7-year-old daughter would later tell police that she heard her mom, 41-year-old Utahna Halona Erickson, scream “help” and rushed to the couple’s bedroom where she found her dad “cutting my mom open” with a knife, authorities allege in court documents obtained by The Deseret News.
The young girl tried to intervene and take the knife away from her father, but she was cut by the blade and received an “extensive injury to her fingers,” authorities said.
The wound was so severe it required surgery to repair it.
After she was sliced by the knife, the young girl ran to get her older brother.
The couple’s 11-year-old son tried to punch and kick his father to stop the fatal attack—eventually running to the neighbor’s home to get help shouting that “his father was trying to kill his mother,” according to the court documents.
The Unified Police Department received the domestic violence call just after 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 and arrived to find John lying on the bed of the master bedroom with cuts to his neck and wrists, People reports.
Utahna was dead on the floor next to the bed.
John allegedly told police he had killed his wife while he was being treated for the injuries.
“I meant for that,” he said, according to the complaint, also obtained by People.
“I just f---ing snapped,” he allegedly said. “One of the sweetest people around took the brunt of my rage.”
Investigators found blood throughout the house and outside the Ericksons’ Midvale home.
The couple’s young daughter was also found covered in blood, with “blood on her face, clothes and severe cuts to her hands.”
“It was my dad that made it happen,” the 11-year-old boy later told police, according to the complaint.
Authorities have not revealed a possible motive in the slaying.
John has no previous criminal record in the state of Utah, the local paper reports.
Shortly after the fatal attack, Utahna’s family released a statement expressing their anguish.
“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 family said, according to The Deseret News. “She made everything beautiful and always went out of her way to bring family and friends together.”
John Erickson is currently being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.