Bartee led to jail, verdict to be appealed!
James Bartee has been sent to prison for five years. He is 55 years old. The sentence this afternoon followed the jury’s conviction on the charge of solicitation to commit a felony that translated to a plot never carried out to kidnap a retired judge. The official sentence as announced by the trial judge: 10 years in prison, suspended to five years, five years probation, psychiatric examination, and 250 hours of community service. Bartee said he was shocked and sorry, and his lawyer announced the defense will appeal the verdict based on what he said was an error of law. Trial Judge Lawton McIntosh had cautioned the courtroom to avoid a spontaneous reaction to the verdict. There were some gasps and some sobbing from the side of the courtroom occupied by Bartee supporters. When the clerk read the guilty verdict, the defendant looked puzzled and then looked over to the jury box. The defense lawyer also announced he will seek his client’s release from jail on a recognizance bond while the appeal runs its process. Solicitor Chrissy Adams said she considered the weight of the evidence, such as the tape recordings and Bartee’s zeal to be elected, as factors that led the jury to its verdict. The jury heard four days of testimony and reached its verdict in two hours’ deliberations.