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Body Found Buried in Backyard

June 30, 2001

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MODESTO, Calif. (AP) _ A teen-ager who cared for his disabled mother alone for six years was charged Friday with beating her to death with a baseball bat and burying her in a backyard grave.

Robert Weston, 17, was charged as an adult, for the murder that police believe he committed in April. Police dug up the body of Joanne Noack, 49, in her back yard on Thursday. He could be sentenced to life in prison.

Noack had been in poor health and was partially paralyzed from several strokes, police spokesman Steve Glen said. Weston had been caring for his mother since he was 11.

Noack’s older son, Thomas Cope, 24, reported she was missing on June 19. He told police he had called to check on his mother, and Weston said he had checked her into a rehabilitation care facility.

Weston did not enter a plea, and his arraignment was postponed until Thursday. His court-appointed lawyer did not comment Friday during the court appearance.

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