Jury deliberations may start at mid day

If you are familiar with the line that goes “Japanese instructor who lives in Colorado who was going to eat Mexican in Oconee County”, chances are you were in the courtroom last week for testimony in the case of South Carolina versus James Bartee. The line about the Japanese martial arts teacher was used by Bartee defense attorney Douglas Brannon to recount a seminar at Bartee’s Aikido studio. It was at that seminar, according to defense witnesses, an incident occurred involving Bartee accuser Nick Blackwell. That was testified to during last week in the Oconee General Sessions Court. All trial testimony is now complete, and the State’s case against Bartee awaits lawyers’ final arguments, the judge’ charge to the jury, deliberations by the jury, and the eventual verdict of whether the former Secret Service agent and candidate for Oconee Sheriff is guilty of the charge of solicitation to commit a felony.