Plea Hearing Set For Accused Deputy Killer

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RUSSELLVILLE (KFSM) - An arraignment date has been set this summer for a man accused of killing a Johnson County reserve deputy, officials say.

Fred Kauffeld was arrested May 15 after deputies say he shot and killed a reserve deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office following a residential burglary. That deputy was identified by authorities as Sonny Smith.

Kauffeld faces a charge of capital murder, and his arraignment has been scheduled for July 10 in Clarksville, said David Gibbons, prosecuting attorney. The prosecutor said he expects to file charges against Kauffeld next week.

Kauffeld is being held without bond in the Pope County Detention Center.

On May 15 around 1 a.m., authorities received a call about a house that was burglarized on County Road 1723 in Johnson County, officials said.

Authorities arrived at the home and determined there has been a forced entry, according to officials. A K-9 unit was called. The dogs picked up a scent and tracked over a fence.

At that point, deputies detected a heat signature with thermal imaging instrument, officials said. Smith ordered the burglary suspect to come out with his hands up, according to officials.

At that point, Smith was fired upon by Kauffeld, authorities said. Smith was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead, according to Arkansas State Police.

Kauffeld was taken into custody after the shooting.

A box of loose change was found at the scene of the shooting, and the owner of the burglarized home said it was taken from the residence, officials said.