WELCH, W.Va. — Jurors hearing the case of a McDowell County man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in 2017 began deliberations Thursday.

West Virginia State Police

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy, 28, of Raysal is charged with murder in the death of 24-year-old Emily Hatfield at her home in Raysal. Investigators said Kennedy told them the shooting happened accidentally, when a gun kept under a pillow discharged.

After evidence was collected at the scene, Kennedy was arrested and charged with first degree murder and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

During testimony, the medical examiner said the gunshot’s trajectory showed the bullet struck the left area of Hatfield’s forehead and went down, and that blood was found beneath and in front of her body, indicating she was kneeling when she was shot.

After the state rested its case Wednesday, Kennedy’s attorney moved for acquittal, arguing the state had not presented evidence of premeditation. The motion was denied.