Court: Searcy man fit to stand trial in killing

SEARCY (AP) - A Searcy man charged in the death of a former girlfriend is mentally fit to stand trial.

The Daily Citizen newspaper of Searcy reports 48-year-old Charles Berry was set for trial June 10 after a state hospital evaluation found he is mentally fit.

Berry has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the April 20, 2012, death of 41-year-old Donna Kennedy. Police say Berry reported the woman's death as a suicide but later said his gun accidentally went off while he was playing with it.

White County Chief Deputy Jeremy Clark has said the shooting did not appear pre-meditated.

Berry's lawyer, Ellen Rief, asked for an evaluation but did not say why one was necessary. Berry was being held at the sheriff's office in lieu of $200,000 bond.

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