San Diego

Officer Details Moment Son Was Arrested in Connection With Mother's Stabbing

The victim, a well-known South Bay teacher, had been a teacher for 35 years.

The first officer to find Joseph Burks on the night he is accused of stabbing his mother 15 times in their Clairemont home testified in court Thursday. 

As prosecution began testimony in the case against Burks, 30, the first officer on the scene, Sgt. Jared Wilson, was first to take the stand.

Wilson's body-worn camera from July 24, 2017, showed the moment he arrived at the home on Mt. Putman Road at 7:16 p.m. 

"Get on the ground, hands up. How many times did you stab her," Wilson said. 

Joseph Burks exits the home with his hands in the air and kneels on the ground. Wilson places his bloodied hands in handcuffs and enters the home where he found Angela Burks, Joseph's mother, not breathing with stab wounds, video showed. 

Prosecutors said Joseph Burks called 911, saying he stabbed his mother after a fight. 

Angela Burks was a 58-year-old science teacher at Otay Ranch High School and a well-known teacher in the South Bay community. She had worked at the school since it first opened, Sweetwater Union High School District officials said.

She had been a teacher for 35 years. 

"Very brutal, the number of stab wounds makes it particularly brutal," Harvey said. "That someone living with his mother would kill her in such a brutal way," said Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey last year. 

Joseph Burks pleaded not guilty to murder charges at his arraignment last July. If convicted, Burks faces 25 years to life in prison. 

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