Utah man charged with attempted murder has a history of attacking strangers, court records indicate

Police say the man recently cut a woman’s throat in Salt Lake City.

A 30-year-old Utah man was charged Thursday after he allegedly attacked a woman in her home and cut her throat. The Salt Lake City Police Department has said the assault appears to have been random.

Eric Jones now faces five charges, including attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

According to court documents, the woman had been talking to Jones outside her apartment near 800 South and West Temple in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6. She told police that he “seemed nice,” and she invited him in for a beer. Authorities said she described Jones as homeless, and once she invited him inside, she allowed him to use her shower, documents say.

After Jones got out of the shower and the woman asked him to leave, he became “enraged,” documents state. Police say Jones violently attacked her, apparently striking her head, face and neck and stomping on her before cutting her throat.

The woman was able to call a neighbor, who called 911. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she underwent surgery. Documents state she had to have multiple transfusions due to blood loss. She’d also suffered a broken nose and several contusions.

Authorities say Jones allegedly robbed the woman after the attack, taking credit cards from her purse.

In a photo lineup, the woman identified Jones as the man who attacked her, and police say his fingerprints were found in her apartment. Five days after the attack, SLCPD officers found Jones downtown and booked him into the Salt Lake County jail in connection to an outstanding warrant.

Court documents indicate that Jones has a history of violence going back to 2018. When Jones allegedly attacked the woman on Feb. 6, he had been on probation.

In November 2018, a probable cause statement says Jones threatened a couple with an ax outside their home. Jones was charged with two counts of aggravated assault in that case. He pleaded guilty to one of the counts in 2019 and the other was dismissed.

In June 2020, Jones was charged with aggravated assault again after police say he stabbed a stranger who was walking along 200 East in Salt Lake City. Jones walked up to the man and started arguing with him, documents state, and when the man said he didn’t know what Jones was talking about, Jones allegedly stabbed him in his upper arm. The charge was dismissed in September 2020.

And in April 2021, Jones allegedly attacked another man with a machete, documents state, severing the man’s thumb and leaving him with several lacerations. Jones was charged with aggravated assault again then. He pleaded not guilty, and the charge was dismissed without prejudice.

The man had reportedly invited Jones into his home for a beer and then allowed him to use his shower, as well.