Perry County man accused of killing girlfriend during "violent a - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Perry County man accused of killing girlfriend during "violent argument"

Eric King (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Dept.) Eric King (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Dept.)
PERRY CO., AL (WSFA) -

A Perry County man is in custody, charged in his girlfriend's death.

According to Michael Jackson, District Attorney for Alabama's Fourth Judicial Circuit (which includes Bibb, Dallas, Hale, Perry and Wilcox Counties), an argument between the couple got out of hand and turned deadly.

Jackson said the incident unfolded late Sunday night at Eric King Jr.'s home on Pisgah Church Road in the Perry County community of Sprott, claiming the life of King's girlfriend, Jonika Smith, 25, of Marion.

"This was a couple and it was a violent argument. It's a situation where it was a domestic violence argument turned fatal. The defendant got angry at the victim and kill her, shot her. You really hate when these domestic violence cases turn fatal but domestic violence situations can escalate to the point where somebody might get killed and that's what happened here," Michael Jackson told WSFA.

After she was shot, King reportedly drove Jonika Smith to Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma where she passed away from her injuries.

King was arrested Monday and charged with her murder.

As for what the couple was fighting about that ultimately led to Smith's death, Perry County officials say a possible motive and the circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting are under investigation. Michael Jackson said he was not aware of any other domestic violence incidents involving the couple. Jackson could not comment on rumors that jealousy on King's part may have been a possible factor in the killing.

"Right now it's speculation. There will be much investigating on this," he told 12 News.

Jackson said Jonika Smith was "well known and well liked" in Marion and the surrounding area. Eric King is also well known due to his family's company, King Logging. Residents along Pisgah Church Road where the shooting occurred were surprised and saddened after hearing what had happened in their quiet community. Some knew the couple and while they declined to do on camera interviews, neighbors said they were praying for all those involved.

Eric King is behind bars in the Perry County Jail on a $1 million bond. He is expected to appear in court in the next few days for his arraignment.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Perry County Sheriff's Office in the investigation into Smith's murder.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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