Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lima, OH: Man files insanity plea in strangulation death

LIMA — A man police said strangled his girlfriend is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

Raymond Collins, 51, of 1119 E. Holmes Ave., entered the plea Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to the charge of murder. His attorney cited “his present mental condition” as the reason he is incapable of understanding the nature and objective of the proceedings against him or assisting in his own defense, the standard used in an insanity plea, according to court records.

Collins' attorney, Jerry Pitts, also asked for a psychiatric evaluation. Collins also has entered a not guilty plea in case his attorney does not pursue an insanity defense.

Judge Jeffrey Reed has placed the case on hold until after the evaluation is complete.

Collins is charged in the slaying of 43-year-old Teresa Burge. Police found her dead in a home at 1119 E. Holmes Ave. on Jan. 27. Investigators said she had been dead for a few days. Police became aware of Burge's death after an employee of St. Rita's Medical Center called to say a man at the hospital said he strangled his girlfriend, a detective said.

Officers checked the house and found her dead. A detective said Collins confessed to hurting her. At an earlier hearing, the detective said Collins may have a history of schizophrenia.

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