Florida Woman Accused Of Stabbing Disabled Jamaican Husband 140 times

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – A woman remains in custody in a Florida jail after allegedly stabbing her estranged Jamaican-born disabled husband 140 times at their home in Palm Springs nearly two weeks ago.

Joan Burke, 61, is charged with the murder of 62-year-old Melvin Weller.

According to a report from ABC’s WPBF 25 News on Tuesday, Weller and Burke were engaged in a divorce battle that would result in their assets being split.

Weller, who police said had a difficultly walking, was looking forward to retire in his native Jamaica after the split from Burke, his attorney told reporters.

The Jamaican man was found at his home on February 11, after his stepson called the Palm Springs Police, the report said.

He was found by the police in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor with “multiple stab wounds and lacerations to his body”.

A further search of the kitchen resulted in investigators locating the suspected murder weapons – knives and a meat cleaver in the kitchen sink.

Burke was found in a bedroom with cuts on her hand and she said nothing, the article said.

The woman was later arrested and charged with the murder that has shocked the Palm Springs community.

An autopsy performed on Weller’s body revealed that, in addition to the 140 stab wounds, he also received a “blow from a meat cleaver to the right rear of his head”, resulting in a skull fracture.

Weller’s attorney, Nicole Hamil-Scott told WPBF 25 News that he had filed for divorce from Burke in December.

“This did not need to happen; this could have (been) dealt with through the courts in the best possible way,” said Hamil-Scott.

She also noted that one of the possible disputes in the divorce case was allegedly “millions of dollars in real estate that, under Florida law, would have to be divided”.

That issue, the attorney said, was ventilated with the estranged couple in the presence of herself and Burke’s lawyer.

One of the assets, Hamil-Scott shared, may have been Burke’s nursing assistant pension, half of which would have gone to Weller.

She said her client was willing to split the assets and retire in Jamaica.

Burke remained in custody without bail up to Tuesday.