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Burousas bond denied pending mental evaluation

Judge Christopher Edwards deferred his decision on bond for accused killer Teresa Burousas pending a mental evaluation. Edwards ordered competency testing at a bond hearing this morning (September 23) in Pike County superior court. Teresa Burousas is charged with shooting her husband, Jimmie (Buzz) Burousas Jr. twice with a handgun in the driveway of their Concord home on July 1. From PJR reporter Tamara Sharman who was in court today: Murder suspect Teresa Mangham Burousas will stay in jail pending the results of a court-ordered mental health exam. Burousas, who sees a psychiatrist and takes medications, is accused of gunning down her husband with her own pistol. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Judge Christopher Edwards ordered the Department of Human Resources to examine Burousas to determine her current mental competency, her competency to stand trial and her sanity at the time her husband was murdered. After getting the results, Judge Edwards will decide whether or not he will release Burousas on bond. ”I don’t know what she’s being treated for psychiatrically. It’s a giant, colossal question mark,” Judge Edwards said. Burousas, garbed in a black outfit with leopard print trim, appeared serene and did not testify during the 90-minute proceeding. Defense attorney Ricky Morris argued his client, who is accused of gunning down husband Jimmie “Buzz” Burousas Jr., should be freed on a reasonable bond and outfitted with an ankle monitor to alert authorities her whereabouts at all times. Morris suggested she be kept under house arrest at the Zebulon home of her father Doug Mangham, who is the chairman of the Pike County commission. Morris called several of Burousas’ friends and her dad to testify during the bond hearing. Burousas has suffered some mental problems, according to testimony. ”She had fits of depression sometime,” Mangham said. ”She’d just get confused,” Mangham testified. “She’d get kind of like she was in a daze.” Pike County investigators oppose her release on bond, as does the district attorney’s office. Assistant district attorney Heath English argued that Burousas could pose a threat to the community if her mental condition deteriorated and that she is a flight risk. ”She could hurt whoever angered her,” suggested Lt. Jamie Strickland of the sheriff’s department. Burousas has been seeing a psychiatrist due to childhood problems with her now deceased mother. She takes a variety of medications for physical ailments and for psychiatric reasons, but how many, what those drugs are and what they treat was never testified to. ”She’s always been a very easy-going, nice type of person,” stated girlfriend Julie Grandy of Williamson. ”I’ve never seen Teresa violent,” Grandy stated. She testified she heard talk that Burousas displays “just a temper once in awhile but I’ve never seen her that way.” Burousas and her husband had arguments but Mrs. Burousas never mentioned any physical confrontations, Grandy said. But Grandy admitted that she was not surprised to learn from prosecutor English that Mrs. Burousas had once pulled a knife on her spouse during a spat. Burousas has confided that she’s been seeing a psychiatrist because her mother had verbally abused her while growing up, Grandy testified. Zebulon resident Alice Crayton, a tennis partner and the murder suspect’s former high school teacher, called Burousas “just a wonderful, gentle, loving person.” Crayton and Mrs. Burousas even played tennis for at least an hour and a half on the day of the murder. She did not appear angry or rushed, Crayton recalled. ”I’m not sure she did that,” Crayton said of the slaying. ”Buzz” Burousas was shot in the head and torso outside the secluded Concord area home he shared with his wife at 560 Caldwell Bridge Road. Police found him dead in his vehicle in the driveway. Lt. Strickland of the sheriff’s police testified that the widow’s version of events is inconsistent with the evidence gathered at the scene. Mrs. Burousas told police she was attacked by assailants armed with a hammer, knife and rope. But her injuries consisted only of “a few scratches to the forehead area,” he said. Police initially issued a lookout for the men who allegedly attacked Mrs. Burousas but their suspicions soon turned to the widow. Mrs. Burousas surrendered to authorities July 31 after police obtained warrants charging her with felony murder, malice murder and aggravated assault. Prosecutors will seek an indictment against Burousas, possibly at the Oct. 19 grand jury session, English said. Prosecutors still are awaiting the test results on some evidence in the case, including DNA analysis on blood, English said. Testing shows that Mrs. Burousas’ pistol was the murder weapon, English said. The home where the murder occurred was destroyed in an Aug. 9 fire that John Oxendine, Georgia’s insurance and safety fire commissioner, calls an arson. Burousas will remain in the Upson County jail pending results of her mental evaluation. Testifying on behalf of Burousas were Alice Crayton, Julie Grandy and her father. Testifying for prosecution was Lt. James Strickland of the Pike sheriff’s office.

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