Mon
Jul 2 2007
01:17 pm

15-year-old Kenneth Bartley, Jr. is headed back to jail after Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood rejects the boy's bid to have his April plea deal withdrawn in connection with the Campbell County High School shooting case.

This kid was strong-armed into a plea deal he didn't fully understand by an attorney anxious to dump his case and instead of the "justice" the family of Ken Bruce said they wanted, a child is being sentenced to 45 years in prison for first-degree murder when it clearly was not a pre-meditated act. The gun he brought to school that day to trade was unloaded until he was foolishly cornered in a principal's office. Principal Gary Seale had testified that no shots were fired until he attempted to tackle the boy. When lunged at, Bartley loaded the gun and fired killing Bruce, an assistant principal. Seale and assistant principal Jim Pierce were injured.

rocketsquirrel's picture

huh?

When lunged at, Bartley loaded the gun and fired killing Bruce, an assistant principal.

according to the AP story at the time of the plea deal, the lunging occurred after two people had been shot.

"Kenny stood up with the gun waving it at all of us," Pierce said. "Mr. Seale asked him if it was real. He said 'Yes, it's real. I'll show you. I never liked you anyway.'"

Pierce said Bartley pulled out an ammunition clip, loaded the gun and fired. Seale was shot first, in the lower abdomen. Bruce was shot in the chest. Pierce was hit in the chest as he struggled to disarm the youth, he testified.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the kid. Less for how he was apparently raised.

brian's picture

well

I think the should use the same hand gun and shoot the punk. He dont need to live any longer

Left Of The Dial's picture

But then there's this from

But then there's this from Jamie Satterfield in the KNS:

A potential bone of contention had the case gone to trial was whether Bartley made a decision to kill. The gun had been unloaded, with the ammunition magazine separate from the gun, according to accounts by Pierce and Seale. Both testified that Bartley made a threatening comment to Seale before loading the gun and shooting it. Both also have testified, however, that the shooting occurred after Seale tried to grab the gun from Bartley.

No mention of two people being shot before Seale lunged at him.

KC's picture

Sorry to break it to you

Sorry to break it to you, but since he was tried as an adult he is no longer a "kid" in the eyes of the state of Tennessee. What his parents think does not matter, period.

Plus, after talking to knowledgeable people concerning Bartley and Campbell County High School, he wasn't bullied; he was a bully.

For once, dry your tears, and let your liberal hearts bleed for someone who deserves it.

Andy Axel's picture

ugh

...let your liberal hearts bleed...

Considering how Ken Bruce died, I'd say that's a monumentally poor choice of phrase.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

KC's picture

Andy-I could care less

Andy-
Seeing as how Left of the Dial called the administrators, who were trying to protect students, fools "The gun he brought to school that day to trade was unloaded until he was foolishly cornered in a principal's office." and that didn't seem to bother you, I guess it's pretty clear you have a problem with me.

That's too bad. I don't have a problem with you.

Here's a little advice-focus on the issues, like whether or not Bartley should have been tried as an adult, and I think this web site will serve its stated purpose.

zoomfactor's picture

Andy Axel's picture

I believe the phrase you're

I believe the phrase you're searching for this time is "couldn't care less."

"The gun he brought to school that day to trade was unloaded until he was foolishly cornered in a principal's office." and that didn't seem to bother you

Um, could that perhaps mean that he was a fool carrying a concealed weapon who got cornered in a principal's office, and even more foolishly loaded the weapon?

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Left Of The Dial's picture

Seeing as how Left of the

Seeing as how Left of the Dial called the administrators, who were trying to protect students, fools "The gun he brought to school that day to trade was unloaded until he was foolishly cornered in a principal's office." and that didn't seem to bother you, I guess it's pretty clear you have a problem with me.

Gary, I called their actions foolish--not the men themselves. That was clear.

KC's picture

I called their actions foolish--not the men themselves.

Left of the Dial-
OK, I'll give you that...on this one condition. Once they had failed to inform the proper authorities, who would be (we hope) better trained and equipped to handle such a dangerous situation, and once they had him in the office and were sure he was armed, what other choices did they have, but to secure the weapon?

Let him leave the office, walk into a crowded cafeteria? What other choice did they have at that point of the situation? Their actions weren't foolish. I believe they should have done things differently from the start, but once they called him out, they could not go back. They may have been desparate to avoid a broader disaster, but they weren't foolish.

I guess since you wrote your first post up to make it sound like Bartley was acting in self-defense, When lunged at, Bartley loaded the gun and fired killing Bruce, an assistant principal. that you're going to be on his side regardless of what the facts are.

CL's picture

I would like to see this go

I would like to see this go to trial. There have been so many conflicting reports about what happened, I think the public needs to know what happened so that it doesn't happen again.

I have heard that the kid was left unsupervised in the reception area of the school office area with the gun in his possession for several minutes before being taken into the office. I hope that is not true. Seale has stated to news reporters that Kenny could have left the office instead of shooting them. I hope I misunderstood him because how could it have been better for that kid to run out of the office with a loaded gun?

KC's picture

Is a trial necessary for this?

CL-

I agree with you that the public, especially parents, should know exactly how this event unfolded. Having worked in both a juvenile and alternative school setting, I believed from the beginning that this incident was mishandled by administrators.

I was especially concerned when one of the administrators referred to Bartley as "little Kenny." Did the administrators fail to take the threat seriously because of the Bartley name in Campbell Co.? Were they handling it with kid gloves, because they feared a run-in with his parents? Should Bartley had been allowed back into the high school in the first place? I think all these questions need to be answered.

However, I disagree with you that a trial is necessary, or even the proper forum for these questions to be answered. A trial should be held to decide the guilt or innocence of a defendant, not to analyze how the administrators handled the situation.

That should be left to an outside observer, at the very least, a state agency which would give us an objective report. Of course, I realize that this is easier said than done.

Somebody's picture

Loading and shooting takes

Loading and shooting takes longer than lunging, so that account can't be true. As for the other accounts, the school officials were no doubt not expert at negotiating with gun-toting students. That's unfortunate for the results of this incident, but also good, in a way, because that demonstrates that this sort of thing is, in fact, extremely unusual.

This kid is fairly clearly not an innocent bystander. He nonetheless deserves due process, like everyone does. If the plea deal was handled inappropriately, one would hope the judge would find it so. In this case, the judge did not find it so. Was that hearing not due process?

KC's picture

I agree

Somebody-

I agree with your statements. Unless the administrators stood there in disbelief and shock that Bartley was loading, or didn't believe that he would load and shoot, that if he was armed he would just hand the gun over to them, it never made sense.

I will say this, in these situations, control and thought struggle with fear and shock. That's why law enforcement and the military are trained over and over and over again. That's why I think law enforcement should have handled this situation. Of course, you can't predict how these things turn out; it could have turned violent even with law enforcement present.

StaceyDiamond's picture

events

I find it strange that that the principal did not call law enforcement immediately upon hearing that a kid might have a gun, that might have difused things or gotten Kenny killed, who knows. If I remember right they called their school resource officer that did not have a gun and he was busy. To beat it all, Campbell County residents voted down a tax increase that could have got all their schools more armed resource officers, horrible situation. I'd like to see this go to trial as well.
I hate the "throw the book at them" and all their supporters attitude people that call themselves liberal seem to have as of late about a variety of people and issues. I feel a 15 yearold still has 15 yearold reasoning even if they've committed an adult crime, would I think that if Mr. Bruce was my family member, I don't know. I remember a few months before this happened they said Kenny was in a facility for troubled kids and on medication and his parents tok him out against the facility's wishes. I agree with John Travolta that psychotrophic drug use should be looked into in these shootings, its almost always a component.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

murders and ice cream

Psychotropic medications do not CAUSE shootings. They are frequently in the history of shooters, because shooters are emotionally unstable.

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