Trial recessed until Tuesday

The James Bartee trial recessed this afternoon for the rest of the week. It’ll pick back up at 9:30 Tuesday morning with closing arguments. With the testimony of defendant Bartee completed, the judge left to the jury the choice of whether to resume tomorrow–the day of the Tigers game with Georgia or come back after the Labor Day holiday. For those in the courtroom, today was extraordinary as the man who wanted to be Sheriff spent the day on the witness stand–starting at 9:30 this morning and finishing up at 4 p-m. It started with Bartee being led through a series of questions about his life’s history and career, how he came to live in Oconee, how he came to run for Sheriff and his views on last year’s tumultuous campaign for office. But the state’s chief prosecutor for the circuit, when it became her turn to cross-examine, sought to pick apart what Bartee called an honorable career with the Secret Service. Solicitor Chrissy Adams especially zeroed in on the time sequence in which questions began to be raised about Bartee’s eligibility to run. At times, it amounted to energized debate between Adams and Bartee as to whether he pursued the election, in spite of warnings that he did not meet the state law that applies to Sheriff’s candidates.