A man who bit and assaulted his grandmother in her Cottonwood Heights apartment then left her for dead was sentenced Friday to spend more than a year in jail.

Most of that sentence, however, was for an unrelated DUI charge.

David Aaron Wilson beat his grandmother until he thought she was dead, at which time he tried to poke and bite her eyes out, then bit her on her arms, fingers, head and face, according to a letter the woman's daughters wrote to the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

The woman escaped and went to a neighbor, who called 911. When law enforcement arrived, they found the woman crying and covered in blood.

Officers went to the apartment where the attack occurred and found Wilson bloody and intoxicated, so much so that he couldn't walk on his own. He resisted arrest and kicked and yelled, even after he was handcuffed, according to police.

Wilson, who lived with his grandmother, was originally charged with aggravated abuse of a disabled or elderly adult, a second-degree felony, plus third-degree felony charges of aggravated assault, witness tampering and violating a no-contact order. He was also charged with two misdemeanors.

As part of a plea bargain, Wilson pleaded guilty to the aggravated abuse and no contact order. The other charges were dropped.

Wilson's attorney, David Mack, asked that his client not serve any additional time, believing that the time he had already served was appropriate. He said his client was sorry for his actions, which were uncharacteristic of his usual behavior but were fueled by substance abuse.

"He had been taking copious amounts of alcohol," which caused him to act violent, Mack said.

He said Wilson responded well to treatment while in the county jail, so to incarcerate him in prison would undo all progress his client has made.

"It is a stone cold fact that if we put Aaron in prison, we are breeding another criminal," Mack said.

The prosecution said Wilson, who had a criminal record, was already a criminal, and prison is the place for criminals.

"This is not his first offense nor an isolated incident," prosecutor Greg Ferbrache said.

He said Wilson's criminal behavior continued in jail. When Wilson's mother visited him in jail, records show he told her to try and convince his grandmother to change her story by saying he wasn't involved.

"That is reprehensible," Ferbrache said.

A man acting as spokesman for Wilson's grandmother said she forgives her grandson and wants him released so he can start a productive life.

Wilson told the judge he feels horrible, was sorry for his actions, and the event has been "a humbling experience."

Third District Judge Michele Christiansen sentenced Wilson Friday to prison sentences of 1-15 years for elderly abuse and zero to five years for the no-contact order.

"You have 25 years hanging over your head," she said.

She suspended those sentences and ordered Wilson to serve one year in jail but credited him for the 348 days he has already served.

The judge, however, ordered him to serve another year in the Salt Lake County Jail for a DUI that occurred before the assault. He was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and will have to use an ignition interlock device on his vehicle to detect any alcohol on his breath for 36 months.

Christiansen also sentenced him to 72 months probation after his jail sentence.

On the recommendation of Wilson's grandmother, the judge also agreed to rescind the no-contact order.


E-mail: lwilde@desnews.com