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Salt Lake police say man fatally stabbed his grandma in Avenues home

Published October 4, 2012 10:43 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City police have arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of stabbing his 84-year-old grandmother Wednesday in her Avenues home.

Zachary Cole Weston was booked into Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony. The victim, Joyce Dexter, was found dead in her home at 310 J St. after police responded to a 2 p.m. call from someone who reported a domestic disturbance at her address.

A probable cause statement released Wednesday night by the Salt Lake County Corrections Department states neighbors could hear a woman screaming for help. Police arrived to find Dexter dead of a stab wound, according to the statement. Police allegedly found Weston holding a knife. He had blood on his clothes, arms and hand, police said.

During interviews with police after his arrest, Weston admitted to stabbing his grandmother numerous times and to slicing her abdomen open, according to the statement.

Police did not say who made the initial call.

Police blocked off the immediate vicinity of the woman's residence, an apartment within a red brick unit on the corner of J Street and Sixth Avenue.

In October 2010, Weston was charged in October 2010 with four misdemeanors after he allegedly assaulted his mother and two police officers during an incident in front of a 7-Eleven at 1305 E. 3900 South on Sept. 2, 2010. Court documents allege that police asked Weston to leave at the request of one of the store's clerks. He allegedly shoved his mother when she joined the conversation. He allegedly punched two officers in the face when they tried to take him into custody.

Weston resolved the case in March 2011 by entering a guilty plea in abeyance to class A misdemeanor assault, and prosecutors dropped the other three counts: assault, assault on a police officer and interference with police.

Weston was ordered by the court to obtain a mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment, including taking any medications prescribed.

kbennion@sltrib.com