Wife to go on trial in husband's death

gkocher@herald-leader.comJuly 13, 2009 

MOUNT STERLING — Carl Bartley had a habit of calling relatives several times each day. So his mother and others became concerned when they hadn't heard from him or seen him in more than a day.

On July 31, 2007, the Kentucky State Police went to Pamela and Carl Bartley's house in Jeffersonville to conduct a welfare check. Carl's brother, Roy, gave police a key to the house. When they went in, troopers found Carl's body in the garage. The 57-year-old used-car dealer had been shot once in the back of the head, and his body was covered by a blanket and cardboard boxes.

More than four months later, Pamela Bartley, Carl's wife of 37 years, was indicted on a charge of murder. She pleaded not guilty, and on Tuesday, jury selection begins in her trial in Mount Sterling.

Pamela Bartley, 58, has been free on a $100,000 bond since December 17, 2007.

Before his death, Carl Bartley had tried to get a protective order against his wife, but he was not granted one, relatives said in 2007.

About 25 years before his death, Pamela Bartley shot her husband, Kentucky State Police said in 2007. The two had been in the process of divorcing when he returned to their home to collect some belongings, his relatives said. She shot him in the back, but within two weeks they had reconciled.

On Monday, Montgomery Circuit Judge William B. Mains will consider a defense motion to prohibit the prosecution from introducing any statements Carl Bartley made before his death.

The defense anticipates that the prosecution will call various relatives and friends of Carl Bartley who will try to testify to statements he made "prior to his death concerning fears of his wife," according to a brief opposing the admissibility of such statements.

During grand jury testimony, the brief said, witnesses testified they heard Carl Bartley say he "was afraid" of his wife and "he feared she would kill him."

The defense contends that such statements are hearsay and are inadmissible.

In her written response, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Cynthia Gale Rose argues that the statements are admissible.

"Kentucky law has found statements revealing the victim's state of mind relevant and admissible when it provides information to prove a subsequent act," she wrote.

Jury selection is expected to take up most of Tuesday. If testimony doesn't begin by late Tuesday afternoon, it will be heard Wednesday and Thursday. The trial will take a break on Friday and is scheduled to resume July 20 through July 23.

Greg Kocher covers Montgomery County for the Herald-Leader. Reach him in the Nicholasville bureau at (859) 885-5775.

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