Clairemont man accused of killing mom pleads not guilty

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Joseph Robert Burks appeared in court last July in a neck brace.

SAN DIEGO – A man accused of fatally stabbing his mother at their home in Clairemont pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.

Joseph Robert Burks, 30, was ordered held on $1 million bail. He appeared in court wearing a neck brace.

Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said the defendant called 911 Monday night, telling dispatchers that he had stabbed his mother and that she needed medics.

When officers arrived, they found 58-year-old Angela Burks 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.

Harvey 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 prosecutor said the victim had 15 sharp instrument cuts to her body, including 10 to her throat and one that severed her jugular vein.

“The number of stab wounds makes it particularly brutal, that somebody living with his mother would kill her in such a brutal way,” Harvey told reporters.

Judge Lisa Rodriguez set a status conference for Aug. 2 and a preliminary hearing for Aug. 9.

Joseph Burks faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted. No motive was given for the attack.

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