Last updated: August 24. 2013 12:17PM - 307 Views

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LIMA — A man charged in the strangulation death of his girlfriend is planning to use a battered-man syndrome defense when he argues he acted in self-defense when he killed her.

Raymond Collins was awarded up to $5,000 to hire an expert in battered-man syndrome to assist in his defense. Judge Jeffrey Reed of Allen County Common Pleas Court approved Collins’ request to use taxpayer money because Collins has been determined to have no money to pay for his own defense.

Collins, 52, of 1119 E. Holmes Ave., is charged with murder in the slaying of 43-year-old Teresa Burge. Police officers found her dead in her home at 1119 E. Holmes Ave. on Jan. 27. She had been dead a few days, investigators said.

Officers became aware of Burge’s death after an employee of St. Rita’s Medical Center called to say a man at the hospital strangled his girlfriend. Officers checked the house and found her, a detective said.

Police officials have said Collins confessed to strangling Burge.

Earlier, Collins’ attorney, Jerry Pitts, tried to challenge Collins’ ability to stand trial based on a mental health claim. A detective testified Collins has some history of schizophrenia.

But Reed ruled Collins was competent to stand trial after two psychological evaluations found him fit to stand trial.

Collins’ trial is scheduled for Jan. 15 in Allen County Common Pleas Court.

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