Man who stabbed his mother in Clairemont home convicted of murde - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man who stabbed his mother in Clairemont home convicted of murder

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Photo courtesy of Sweetwater Union High School District Photo courtesy of Sweetwater Union High School District
Joseph Robert Burks in court in 2017 Joseph Robert Burks in court in 2017

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who fatally stabbed his mother -- a well-known high school science teacher -- in their Clairemont home last year was convicted Monday of first-degree murder.

Joseph Robert Burks faces 26 years to life in prison when he is sentenced July 13 by Judge Charles Rogers.

Jurors deliberated 4 1/2 days before finding the 31-year-old defendant guilty of murdering 58-year-old Angela Burks, a teacher at Otay Ranch High School for 14 years. She had been with the Sweetwater Union High School District since 1983.

Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said the defendant called 911 about 7:15 p.m. July 24, 2017, telling dispatchers he had stabbed his mother and that she needed medical attention.

When officers arrived, they found the victim on her back and unresponsive inside the home in the 4300 block of Mount Putnam Avenue, the prosecutor said. The victim -- who had lost a lot of blood -- was taken to a trauma center, where she was pronounced dead.

San Diego police homicide Detective Christopher Leahy testified that the victim lived on one side of the home and the defendant on the other.

The mother's side of the home was well maintained and the defendant's side was messy, with items stacked on top of his bed and an assortment of weapons -- including two Samurai swords -- lined up against a wall, according to the detective.

There was a mattress in a bathroom and the defendant seemed to be sleeping in there, Leahy said.

Two knives believed used in the attack were found at the scene, and one of them had the blade broken at the handle, the detective testified. Angela Burks was stabbed at least 15 times. A motive for the killing was not clear.

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