Flint man convicted of assaulting, strangling and trying to set wife on fire

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FLINT (WJRT) (3/12/2019) - A Flint man faces up to life in prison after being convicted Tuesday of assaulting, sexually assaulting and strangling his wife and also trying to set her on fire.

Robert Bernard Collins, 48, and his wife were being evicted from their home on March 11, 2018, when a violent argument broke out while they packed their belongings.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Collins punched his wife in the face and swung a box cutter at her, cutting her once in the chest. Collins then wrapped an extension cord around his wife’s neck and strangled her as she fought him off.

He later used a lighter to try to set her clothes on fire and threatened to kill her.

Collins prevented the woman from escaping several times and sexually assaulted her in their bedroom, Leyton said.

Collins' wife was able to escape after he fell asleep. She grabbed their car keys and the box cutter from his coat pocket and drove herself to Hurley Medical Center, where police were called.

“This was an absolutely horrific assault,” Leyton said. “My heart goes out to the victim and I hope she can find healing and proper closure.”

He was convicted of the following charges:
-- Two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
-- Unlawful imprisonment.
-- Assault by strangulation.
-- Attempted assault by strangulation.
-- Committing a felony while carrying a firearm.
-- Domestic violence.

Collins previously served 23 years in prison for raping a neighbor in 1991. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on April 12.

“In the end, justice has been served and Robert Collins will not be free to commit such reprehensible acts of violence on others ever again,” Leyton said.



 
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