BREAKING: Bartee found guilty; sentence handed down

The jury in the trial of James Bartee have handed down a verdict of guilty and the former Secret Service Agent and one time candidate for Oconee County Sheriff has been sentenced to five years in prison and must undergo psychiatric treatment. The verdict was announced just before 2:00 PM Tuesday after the jury deliberated for just over two hours. Bartee was found guilty by a jury of his peers for solicitation to commit a felony stemming from an alleged plot to kidnap former judge Jimmy Williams. WGOG’s Dick Mangrum, on scene at the Oconee County Courthouse, says Bartee looked puzzled and quickly glanced at the jury after the clerk read the verdict. Mangrum reports a few audible gasps in the courtroom and some sobbing from the Bartee side of the audience as the verdict was announced. The official sentence is 10 years, suspended to 5 years in prison; mandatory psychiatric treatment; and 250 hours of community service. Bartee’s lawyer says he will appeal the verdict and seek to have Bartee released while on appeal. The defense has 10 days to file its appeal. Bartee has expressed his shock over the verdict. We’ll have more on this breaking story as it develops this afternoon.