Bartee hearing concludes

No decision was reached during a pre-trial hearing today in Anderson as to whether criminal charges against James Bartee, former candidate for Oconee Sheriff, will be dismissed or moved forward for trial, according to a court officer. Anderson Clerk of Court Richard Shirley sat in on today’s hearing in his county’s courthouse, where as many as five motions were placed before Judge J-C Nicholson. They included whether tape recording between Bartee and a law enforcement informant should be suppressed and whether the Bartee arrest last year was legal, considering the arrest was made in a courthouse where Bartee had reported for a civil hearing over whether he had the proper qualifications to run for Oconee Sheriff. Bartee ended his campaign once he was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit a felony, as part of a plot to kidnap a retired judge who had contested Bartee’s right to run for the office. According to Shirley’s assessment of what he heard today, there was some general agreement between the prosecution and defense on some matters. On others, however, written arguments will be required before Judge Nicholson rules on the motions which will determine whether the criminal charge stands or goes away.