PALM SPRINGS, Fla. (TCD) -- A 61-year-old woman faces murder charges after allegedly stabbing her disabled husband and beating him in the head with a meat cleaver.
Police reportedly responded to Melvin Weller and Joan Burke’s home Feb. 11 after Weller’s stepson called 911. At the scene, WPBF-TV reports Weller was found in a pool of blood that covered the kitchen floor. The arrest affidavit obtained by WPBF says he suffered multiple stab wounds and lacerations.
According to WPTV-TV, authorities discovered blood residue on the walls, cabinets, and counters in the kitchen along with knives and a meat cleaver in the sink. There were also reportedly cleaning tools near Weller’s body, as well as a tied-up plastic bag with Burke’s blood-covered nightgown and the victim’s cellphone.
Investigators reportedly believe that a violent struggle occurred between the victim and suspect. According to WPTV, the autopsy showed that Weller suffered more than 140 stab wounds, as well as a skull fracture to the right rear area of his head caused by a bludgeoning from a meat cleaver.
Burke was reportedly located in the master bedroom of the residence lying in the bed. She reportedly did not speak, though she was conscious. Burke allegedly had cuts on her palms and hands, which police say is usually consistent with stab offenders as the weapon becomes slippery and digs into the skin. WPTV reports Burke was transported to a hospital for evaluation.
According to WPTV, Joan Burke’s husband and victim filed for divorce in December 2021. Weller’s divorce attorney, Nicole Hamil-Scott, told WPBF that one possible dispute could have been the millions of dollars in real estate that would have been divided due to Florida law. Hamil-Scott also told WPBF that another asset of concern was Burke’s pension from her job as a nursing assistant, which would be split between the couple.
Burke was reportedly arrested and charged with murder. According to WPTV, she remains held at Palm Beach County jail without bond.