A man accused of fatally stabbing his mother at the home they shared in Clairemont must stand trial on a murder charge, a judge ruled Friday.
Joseph Robert Burks, 30, is charged with the July 24 death of Angela Burks, a longtime teacher at Otay Ranch High School.
Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said the defendant called 911 about 7:15 p.m., telling dispatchers that he had stabbed his mother and that she needed medical attention.
When officers arrived, they found the 58-year-old 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 during a daylong preliminary hearing 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.
A deputy medical examiner testified that the victim had 18 stab wounds or sharp cuts to her body, mostly to the face, neck and upper chest.
A motive for the killing was not clear.
Judge Louis Hanoian ruled that enough evidence was presented for the defendant to stand trial March 13.
Burks faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted.
—City News Service
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