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Lawyer Bludgeoned by Man She Helped

July 20, 1999

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ A lawyer who friends say liked to help the downtrodden lay in a coma Tuesday, a week after she was bludgeoned and her home burned, allegedly by a homeless man she had befriended.

Joanne Carver, 61, was in critical condition with head injuries suffered in the attack July 13. She was left lying outside her home. Her van was also stolen.

Rex Wilburn Osborne, 41, was charged with attempted murder, arson and car theft. He had been living in a storage shed behind Ms. Carver’s home, and she had been giving him odd jobs around the house for the past two months.

Police said that they have no motive for the attack but that Osborne claimed to have been high on crack.

``I just can’t believe that anyone could do this to another human being,″ said Ms. Carver’s daughter, Phyllis Carver. ``It’s her good nature that kind of got her into these circumstances.″

Osborne was arrested last week after police found him sleeping in a garage in Bernalillo, just outside Albuquerque. Ms. Carver’s van was found at the Bernalillo house.

Ms. Carver was in private practice, handling mostly divorce and child-abuse cases.

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