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GREENVILLE, NC (AP) — A Pitt County man charged with murder says his girlfriend set herself on fire before shooting herself in the head.

The Greenville Daily Reflector reports that state investigators testified in Superior Court on Thursday that the charred remains of 51-year-old Teresea Derr Foster contained gasoline.

Foster’s body was found in 2009 behind a home she shared with her 57-year-old fiancé Clinton Arthur Ridenour north of Greenville. A sheriff’s detective says a red gasoline can was found on the couple’s front porch swing.

Ridenour is charged with the first-degree murder and faces life in prison without parole if he is convicted. Ridenour maintains his innocence and says Foster’s fatal injuries were self-inflicted.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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