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Police investigate attack at Utah Alzheimer's center as homicide

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Oct 10th, 2018 @ 7:32pm


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SOUTH JORDAN — South Jordan police are conducting a homicide investigation involving residents at an Alzheimer's center.

The victim in the case is an 88-year-old man and his alleged attacker is 69, according to police. Both were residents at the Pheasant Run Alzheimer's Special Care Center, 2664 W. 11400 South.

On Sept. 19, the suspect attacked another resident of the center, James Wright, and shoved him, "causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the wall and ground," according to search warrant affidavits filed in 3rd District Court.

The man then got "on top of Wright and hit him repeatedly," the warrants state. "Wright had a puncture wound in his face and (the alleged attacker) had a writing utensil in his hand when he was pulled off of Wright."

South Jordan Police Lt. Matt Pennington said police didn't learn about what happened until the next day when they got calls from both hospital workers and later from workers at the care center, who reported the man was now assaulting staff members, he said.

"Wright fell into a coma due to his injuries and is planned to be taken off of life support," the affidavits state.

Pennington said Wright's family did take him off life support and he died after the warrants were written.

Investigators are now preparing evidence and plan to screen the case with the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office for potential criminal charges. Pennington said it will be up to prosecutors to determine whether mental health issues play a role in the case.

The alleged attacker was not booked into the Salt Lake County Jail due to health concerns, Pennington said. He was, however, moved out of Pheasant Run and is being held in an undisclosed, secure facility.

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Pat Reavy

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Updated: Thursday November 15, 2018 5:36 am