Karey pleads not guilty to murder - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Karey pleads not guilty to murder

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Woodrow Karey Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Woodrow Karey Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

Woodrow Karey Jr., the man accused of fatally shooting a Lake Charles pastor during a church service last year, pleaded not guilty in state district court Monday morning.

Karey was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in late June in connection with the September 2013 death of Ronald Harris Sr.

Authorities said Karey shot Harris during a service at Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center on Deshotel Lane in Lake Charles.

Karey allegedly shot Harris twice with a shotgun, once when he walked into the church and a second time when Harris fell to the floor.

A grand jury indicted Karey on a charge of manslaughter in November 2013, but the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office introduced new evidence to a grand jury in June, leading to the upgraded charge.

A second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence while a manslaughter conviction carries a sentence of between 10-40 years.

Karey's trial is scheduled to start Sept. 15, but it is unlikely to begin that day.

Defense attorneys said they plan to file a motion to quash the indictment but said they won't discuss why until the motion is filed in the coming weeks.

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