WELCH, W.Va. — A McDowell County jury found a Raysal man guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday following three hours of deliberation.

Charles Kennedy, 28, was charged following the death of 24-year-old Emily Hatfield, of Raysal, in December 2017.

West Virginia State Police

Charles Kennedy

Hatfield was shot in the head and died at the scene of the incident. Investigators said Kennedy told them the shooting happened accidentally when a gun kept under a pillow discharged.

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.

A second phase of the trial will determine if Kennedy will receive a recommendation of mercy.

MetroNews’ Pete Davis contributed to this report

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