NEWARK (AP) — A Northern California woman has been charged with murder after her elderly mother was beaten to death with a hammer, authorities announced Tuesday.
Alameda County prosecutors charged Cindy Burleigh, 57, with one count of murder with special circumstances in the death of her mother on Monday, a day after Nancy Burleigh, 75, was beaten.
Police said Cindy Burleigh called 911 Sunday morning to report she had assaulted her mother inside their home in Newark. When officers arrived, they found Nancy Burleigh, unconscious and bleeding from the head on the bathroom floor, Newark Police Cmdr. Mike Carroll said Tuesday.
Cindy Burleigh “told the officers where her mother was and that she had hit her with a hammer,” Carroll said. It wasn’t clear if she had retained an attorney to comment on her behalf. No one answered a call to the Burleigh home Tuesday night.
On Saturday, the day before the attack, officers responded to Burleigh’s home to investigate a family disturbance, according to a court affidavit.
Nancy Burleigh had called police twice that day, once after she argued with her daughter and again hours later to report that her daughter and her daughter’s 36-year-old son had been smoking marijuana on the side of the house, the document said.
After a search of the home, police seized several guns and marijuana. Cindy Burleigh’s son was later taken into custody and remains in jail facing multiple felony charges, including illegal possession of an assault weapon and cultivation of marijuana, Carroll said.
On Sunday, Cindy Burleigh apparently hit her mother in head with a hammer multiple times, fracturing her skull, Carroll said. The daughter told officers that she was “crushed and heartbroken” that her mother apparently enjoyed hurting her grandson, the court affidavit said.
“(Cindy Burleigh) said that she thought her heart was done being broken by (Nancy Burleigh) a long time ago, but she was wrong,” according to the affidavit. “Arrestee said that her intent was to kill victim but did not want her to be hurt in the process.”
Prosecutors also charged Cindy Burleigh with the special circumstance of committing a killing after lying in wait, and an enhancement of supposedly using a hammer.
She is being held in jail without bail.