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Trial date set in Pea Ridge killing

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A local man charged in killing his wife could face a jury as early as April 9.

That's the new trial date set for Harry Lee Smith, 68. His indictment stems from the July 30, 2011, shooting death of Constance Smith, 62. She was a retired schoolteacher killed at the couple's home in 6100 block of Birkewood Road in East Pea Ridge.

Sean Hammers, assistant prosecutor for Cabell County, sought a delay Tuesday. He cited a need for defense materials and additional time to get caught up on the case. He was just recently assigned to take the lead role.

Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson approved the delay but stressed a need to resolve the case.

An investigator testified that Harry Smith confessed to pulling the trigger, but told investigators it was an accidental shooting. The deputy testified Harry Smith recalled loading it with ammunition and cocking its hammer moments before he handed it to her with his finger on the trigger and its barrel pointed at her face.

The victim's son, who has since died, gave police a video-recorded statement describing Harry Smith as a good man, but one who turns into a completely different person when he drinks alcohol.

The defendant remains on home confinement as a term of bond.