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Palm Springs woman accused of fatally stabbing husband more than 140 times

Victim had skull fractured by blow from meat cleaver
WPTV Joan Burke street
Posted at 11:55 AM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-20 23:27:41-05

PALM SPRINGS, Fla. — A Palm Springs woman was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder after she stabbed her husband more than 140 times and bludgeoned him with a meat cleaver, police said.

According to a Palm Springs police report, Ricardo Green, 41, called 911 on the evening of Feb. 11 to say that he came home from work and found his stepfather, Melvin Weller, 62, lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Green said Weller appeared to be dead.

When officers arrived, they located the victim on the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood that covered more than half of the kitchen.

Officers noticed blood spatters and smears on the walls, kitchen cabinets and counters. A couple of knives and a meat cleaver were in the kitchen sink.

Police found the victim's wife, Joan Burke, 61, lying in bed in the master bedroom. She was alert and conscious but remained mute.

Burke was taken to JFK Hospital to be evaluated.

Investigators found cleaning tools on the floor near the victim's body. They said the numerous injuries to his body, coupled with the blood stains cast or otherwise spread on the walls, ceiling, counters and cabinets, made it obvious a violent struggle had occurred.

Corner of Donald Road and Anna Lane
Police say Joan Burke stabbed her husband more than 140 times, killing him.

An autopsy revealed the victim suffered more than 140 stab wounds all over his body.

He also had a skull fracture caused by a blow from a meat cleaver to the right rear area of his head.

A tied-up plastic bag was located on the kitchen counter top containing Burke's bloodstained nightgown and a cell phone.

Investigators at this time believe the cell phone belonged to the victim.

According to an arrest affidavit, Burke had lacerations on the palms of both hands. Investigators said it is common for the offender to have lacerations to the palm of one or both hands when he or she stabs another person.

The repeated stabbings result in blood getting on the knife handle and onto the stabber's hands, causing the stabber's grip to slip and lacerate their skin with the blade.

A Palm Beach County judge ordered that Burke be held without bond Sunday.