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Campbell County High Shooting Retrial Begins


The retrial of a former Campbell County Comprehensive High School student accused of shooting and killing an assistant principal in 2005 begins this week, more than eight years after the original crime was committed.

On November 8, 2005, Kenneth Bartley Jr. was 14 years old when he allegedly pulled out a gun and began shooting during a meeting with three administrators at his school.  Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce were wounded.  Assistant Ken Bruce was killed.

Bartley’s case on murder and attempted murder charges went to trial in April 2007.  During the first day, Bartley agreed to a plea deal that would send him to prison for 45 years. 

Since then, Bartley has insisted the deal was rushed through the system and as a 15 year-old, he was ill-equipped to understand the consequences of a confession.  In 2011, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood agreed and ordered a new trial.

Jury selection began Friday in Chattanooga.  Blackwood agreed to find a jury in Chattanooga, where the case has received less media attention.