Searcy man sentenced to 30 years for death

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - A Searcy man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Charles Berry entered the plea Wednesday in White County Circuit Court. He was charged in the April 20, 2012, death of 41-year-old Donna Kennedy.

The Daily Citizen reports ( ) that Berry first reported Kennedy's death as a suicide. Medical examiners later determined that Kennedy's wounds weren't self-inflicted.

The White County Sheriff's Office says Berry then told authorities that a loaded gun accidentally discharged while he was playing with it. Deputies say the shooting did not appear to be premeditated.

Authorities say Berry has been held at the White County jail since his arrest. Deputy prosecutor Cynthia Baker says Berry has accumulated 289 days of jail credit.

Information from: The Daily Citizen,

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