South Florida woman stabs husband over 140 times, police say

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Feb 20, 2022 5:19 PM

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A Palm Beach County woman used a knife and a meat cleaver to kill her husband, stabbing him 140 times, police say.

Melvin Weller, 62, was discovered in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor of their home on the 4400 block of Anna Lane in Palm Springs, according to court records.

Facing a charge of first-degree murder is his wife Joan Burke, 61, who appeared in court for the first time Sunday for the killing, which was discovered Feb. 11.

The body was found by Ricardo Anthony Green, her son and his stepson, when he got home from work.

Green called 911 and police arrived to find Weller, already dead, with more than 140 stab wounds, as well as a skull fracture from a meat cleaver, court records show. Burke had cuts on her hands, which police say in their report was likely caused by a knife slipping and cutting herself as she allegedly stabbed Weller.

When officers searched the home, they found Burke, “conscious and alert,” but she didn’t speak to them, they wrote in a report. Investigators said they believe a violent struggle occurred, based on the blood stain locations and patterns on nearby kitchen cabinets and walls.

Weller’s family told investigators that he had a physical disability, which made it difficult for him to walk and affected his grip strength, according to court records.

Burke, who is represented by the Palm Beach County Public Defender’s Office, is due back in court March 21.

The couple had been going through a divorce, court records show. A dissolution-of-marriage case was filed by Weller against Burke in December of 2021, but those records are not public and the case is still open.

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