Blackwell on the stand since 3 p-m
28 August 2013..lrm
Nick Blackwell took the stand at mid afternoon and testified that, while working for the James Bartee campaign for Sheriff, the candidate approached him with the idea of kidnapping. Blackwell said after meeting with Bartee at the Bartee home near Seneca, he told the woman friend who drove him to the home, “The crazy SOB wants me to kidnap Judge Williams, but I’m not going to kidnap him.” Blackwell said he felt pressured by Bartee to undertake the kidnapping because of what he said were threats made against him and concern for his family. At the time, Blackwell said he was considered a suspect in the shooting death of another man—a case, he said, was later ruled self defense. Earlier this afternoon, a Bartee friend from childhood Joseph Allen Milbert testified for the prosecution under subpoena, and his testimony reflected the appearance of a hostile witness. As demonstrated in part by his cross-examination, two times the Buford, Georgia man testified that Bartee never asked anyone to kidnap Williams. Milbert called his friend from childhood an honorable man and a skilled technician during his Secret Service career. But, when asked by assistant solicitor Lindsey Simmons, if he were aware that Bartee had been suspended for using a racial slur, Milbert said he had no such knowledge. Two members of this week’s trial jury are African Americans. And Bartee’s lawyer later used the inference to move for a mistrial, which the judge denied.