ST. MARIES -- A northern Idaho man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the Christmas Day shooting death of an 18-year-old St. Maries woman.

A judge set bail for 28-year-old Joseph Duane Herrera in the amount of $200,000 during a hearing Tuesday in Benewah County.

Herrera was arrested Sunday in the death of Stefanie Comack, who suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

County prosecutor Douglas Payne says there was an argument between the two that day and Herrera claims he accidentally shot Comack while checking to see if his gun was unloaded. Police say Herrera fled the home where the shooting occurred, then later turned himself into authorities.

Friends say Herrera and Comack were involved and worked at Valley Vista Care Center in St. Maries.

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