Aaron Dale Eaton

DNA leads to arrest in I-5 stabbing case

DNA evidence led police to the man who allegedly stabbed a Central Point resident along Interstate 5 in February, according to court records in the case.

Aaron Dale Eaton, 40, of Phoenix, was arraigned Monday on multiple felony charges for allegedly stabbing Christopher Applegate, 42, of Central Point, in the early morning hours of Feb. 23 near milepost 34 along Interstate 5.

The stabbing was called in to emergency dispatch just before 6 a.m. Applegate was found by police in the 4000 block of Old Upton Road, just off the freeway north of Central Point, and taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries. A massive search for a suspect ensued along I-5 between Central Point and Gold Hill.

OSP Detective Brendan Quirke wrote in a probable cause affidavit that the OSP crime lab had identified Eaton's DNA inside Applegate's vehicle. Eaton was arrested in Central Point on June 2 and taken to the OSP office, where he confessed to the crimes, Quirke wrote.

Eaton was arraigned on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and second-degree kidnapping — all Measure 11 crimes — as well as unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm, court records show. Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia set Eaton's bail at $500,000.

Eaton faces multiple charges of methamphetamine possession, manufacture and delivery, first- and second-degree theft, eluding a police officer, reckless driving and unauthorized use of a vehicle in seven open cases since July 2016, court records show.

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