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Palm Springs Woman Accused Of Stabbing Husband 140 Times

PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/CNN) -- A Palm Springs woman accused of stabbing her husband 140 times has been charged with first-degree murder.

Joan Burke, 61, is being held without bond.

Palm Springs Police said officers were sent to Burke's home on the evening of February 11 after receiving a call from a man who identified himself as the son of the suspect.

The caller said he had arrived home from work and discovered the body of his stepfather, Melvin Weller, 62, lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. When asked by the 911 dispatcher if anyone else was at home at the time, the caller "paused for several seconds and then said his mother Joan Burke was there," according to the incident report.

When officers arrived, they found Weller in a large pool of blood that covered more than half the kitchen floor, according to the report. Investigators also found a mop, a broom and other cleaning tools next to the body.

Police said Weller, who appeared to be deceased, had multiple stab wounds and lacerations on his body. Officers noticed blood splatters and smears on the walls, cabinets, and counters of the kitchen. A couple of knives and a meat cleaver were found in the kitchen sink, police said.

During a sweep of the home, officers discovered Burke lying in a bed in the master bedroom, conscious and alert but remaining silent, according to the report. She was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

An autopsy revealed Weller suffered more than 140 stab wounds and a skull fracture caused by a blow to the head with a meat cleaver, the report said.

In a search warrant executed on the suspect's home, police were able to recover a garbage bag containing a blood-stained nightgown belonging to Burke and a cellphone that investigators think belonged to Weller, according to the report. Police said Burke was also found to have lacerations on her hands.

Police are trying to determine what led to the stabbing. Weller's family said he was physically disabled at the time of his death.

(©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)


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