A man charged with ramming his ex-girlfriend into the ground with a car, stabbing her teenage son four times and slashing their dog's throat with a knife went on trial Wednesday before a four-man, five-woman jury in 3rd District Court.
Henry Louis Jackson, 53, is charged with two counts of first-degree felony attempted aggravated murder and class B misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and simple assault. The charges stem from a 2006 incident outside the South Salt Lake condominium of Kathy Capellen, who had dated Jackson and had him live with her briefly.
Capellen told police that, when she and her son returned to the condo after buying some food, Jackson smashed into her with his car. When her son, Cameron Hardman, then 17, tried to intervene, Jackson chased the teen and stabbed him repeatedly, according to testimony at an earlier preliminary hearing. Capellen also said Jackson stabbed the family dog in the neck.
"He tried to kill them," prosecutor Michaela Andruzzi told the jury. "This is about a relationship that had gone very, very wrong."
Andruzzi said Capellen was trying to break up with Jackson, who became jealous and threatening, and eventually tried to murder Capellen and her son.
But defense attorney Brian K. Lofgren urged the jury to listen carefully to the details of the evidence, including what was and was not done in the investigation. Lofgren also discussed how, in order to convict Jackson, jurors must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Jackson did what he is accused of doing.
Pam Lomax, who was visiting her niece in the neighborhood the day of the incident, described how she heard a "big crash" and, thinking her car had been hit, ran to the door and saw a man chase a teen and stab the teen in the back. Lomax said Capellen was lying on the ground screaming, "He just hit me with the car."
Lomax said Jackson told Cameron, "I'm going to kill you, you little punk." She said she and her niece urged the teen to come inside with them and called 911. Lomax said Jackson fled before police arrived.Jackson is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on $200,000 bail.