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Zachary Weston

SALT LAKE CITY — Joyce Dexter, 84, died a gruesome death at the hands of her grandson who stabbed her multiple times, police said Thursday.

About 2 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to 310 J St. in Salt Lake City's Avenues neighborhood on a report of a possible domestic disturbance.

"Neighbors report hearing the victim screaming for help," a Salt Lake County Jail report states.

When officers arrived, they found Dexter was dead and discovered Zachary Cole Weston, 21, holding a knife with "blood on his clothing, arms and hands," according to the report.

Weston told investigators he stabbed his grandmother numerous times and "admitted to slicing the victim's abdomen open," police wrote.

A Salt Lake police spokeswoman Thursday said the department would not comment on whether Weston surrendered without incident or how he was taken into custody, saying it was part of the "ongoing investigation."

At Dexter's house Thursday, flowers with a card were left on Dexter's porch Thursday as seashell chimes sounded in the wind. Several neighbors the Deseret News attempted to talk to Thursday who were apparent acquaintances of Dexter declined to talk about her or the crime.

Weston's last listed address is 4047 S. 1300 East, but neighbors said he and Dexter's adult daughter had been living with her.

Eviction notices were filed in court in both February and April against Karin Weston, Zachary Weston's mother, for an apartment at 1312 E. 3900 South, an address that Zachary Weston also listed on his records.

A check of Utah court records shows Weston has a minor history of violence and has been charged twice in Salt Lake Justice Court in the past two months with misdemeanors.

On Aug. 9 he was charged with two counts of assault and interfering with a police officer during an arrest, class B misdemeanors. On Sept. 24 he was charged with two counts of battery and making a false alarm, also class B misdemeanors.

In 2010, Weston was charged with two counts of assault, interfering with an arrest and assaulting a police officer. In a plea abeyance deal, he pleaded guilty to one of the assault charges.

In the incident, prosecutors say Weston shoved his mother and punched an officer in the face after being asked to leave a 7-Eleven. As part of his sentence, he was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam