DAKOTA CITY | A South Sioux City man charged with fatally shooting his wife intends to use an insanity defense.

Todd Lancaster, who represents Bei Sheng Chen, filed the one-sentence notice Wednesday in Dakota County District Court that he intends to present a defense of not responsible by reason of insanity.

The notice and its implications in the case could be discussed further during a pretrial conference scheduled for Friday.

Chen, 41, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, first-degree domestic assault and use of a firearm to commit a felony for the Sept. 6 shooting death of Mei Huang. A trial date has not been set.

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Lancaster, an attorney with the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy in Lincoln, in November requested that Chen undergo a psychiatric evaluation. District Judge Paul Vaughan granted the request with no objection from prosecutors.

Chen is accused of shooting Huang, 33, near the Law Enforcement Center at 701 W. 29th St. in South Sioux City.

Police officers responding to the sound of two gunshots found Huang lying on the ground with gunshot wounds. Chen was found near her, taken into custody for questioning and later arrested. A firearm was found at the scene. The shooting was based upon a domestic dispute, court documents said.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Chen would face a sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors also will have the option of seeking the death penalty. The other charges against Chen carry maximum prison sentences of 20-50 years.

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