SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – A Southfield man accused of choking his wife of 11 years to death in front of his children was back in court Friday.  However, a preliminary hearing for 38-year-old Rahim Lockridge was delayed until the autopsy report has been reviewed by attorneys.

Speaking to WWJ’s Florence Walton at 46th District Court, attorney Jerome Sabbota his client is not a monster. He said Lockridge and his wife Kenyatta were arguing over money when she attacked him.

“People are saying he grabbed his wife, my understanding, and strangled her and the daughter broke it up and he meant to kill her,” said Sabbota.

“I don’t think he’s charged with first degree murder. The information they gave me right now is he’s charged with open murder, which means the prosecutor doesn’t even know what the degree is yet,” he said.

 Sabbota said Lockridge and his wife had an abusive relationship.

“She went after him, that’s my understanding … there’s a history of violence between the two of them. She was aggressive on many occasions with him when he didn’t report it,” Sabbota said. “A lot of times men don’t report the fact that they’ve been assaulted by a woman.”

The incident took place on September 19 at the family’s home on Potomac Street in Southfield.

Police told WWJ the girls, ages 8, 11, and 16, begged their father to stop, trying to pull him off of their mother. But when he finally let go, the 32-year old woman slumped to the floor.

Police said as their father fled the scene, the kids dialed 9-1-1. Lockridge was arrested a short time later in Detroit.

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