Murder defendant can't go to Europe

MONTGOMERY JUDGE PUTS KIBOSH ON TRIP, MOVES TRIAL SITE

gkocher1@herald-leader.comAugust 4, 2009 

MOUNT STERLING — The trial of a woman accused of murder in the 2007 shooting death of her husband was rescheduled Monday for Dec. 7 in Rowan County.

And a judge ruled Monday that it would be inappropriate for the defendant, Pamela Bartley, to leave for a European vacation in September.

She is accused of killing Carl Bartley, a used-car dealer who was found shot in the back of the head in the garage of his Jeffersonville home.

In July, Pamela Bartley's trial was delayed because a jury could not be seated. Bartley, 58, remains free on a $100,000 bond.

During a status hearing Monday, Montgomery Circuit Judge William B. Mains decided that a change of venue was needed for the trial.

"Obviously a lot of people in this county know about this case," Mains said.

So Mains said he decided to move the trial to Rowan County, where the Bartley case "is not a case most people are familiar with."

The courtroom in Morehead has good security, so "I think that's the best route to go," Mains said.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

In another matter, Mains ruled against a defense motion seeking to allow Pamela Bartley to travel to Europe. In the past, Bartley has been allowed to travel to Florida three times.

Defense attorney Ben Shields said Bartley "has showed up for everything she's supposed to show up for" in court.

But Commonwealth's Attorney Keen Johnson called Bartley's request "outrageous."

That Bartley scheduled the trip before the July trial, Johnson told the judge, "is a slap in the face of this community, a slap in the face to you, sir, and this court."

Mains said he agreed that "it was a bit presumptuous" to schedule a trip to Europe, adding that it was a little like breaking out the champagne for a World Series championship during the All-Star Game.

"I'm not comfortable in allowing any defendant to travel overseas in any criminal case," Mains said.

Bill Bartley, Carl Bartley's brother, said afterward that "the judge ruled on it correctly."

"She got the cart before the horse," Bill Bartley said. "If I was charged with it (murder), I wouldn't be wanting to go Europe."

But Norma Shadwick of Wilmore, a friend and former co-worker of Pamela Bartley, defended the desire to travel.

"When you feel you're innocent, why shouldn't you be able to schedule something?" Shadwick said outside the courthouse.

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

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