Venue reconsideration sought in Montgomery murder trial

gkocher1@herald-leader.comNovember 14, 2009 

A judge will be asked Monday to reconsider the change of venue for the trial of a Montgomery County woman accused of killing her husband.

The trial of Pamela Bartley is scheduled to begin Dec. 7 in Morehead. 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 2007.

In July, the trial was delayed because a jury could not be seated in Mount Sterling, so the judge decided in August to move the trial to Rowan County.

In a motion filed Thursday in Rowan Circuit Court, defense attorneys Grover Carrington and Ben Shields asked that the trial be moved back to Montgomery County.

The motion acknowledges that after a full day of individual questioning of potential jurors on July 14 in Montgomery Circuit Court, a sufficient number did not qualify.

It says, however, that many potential jurors who were required to report failed to attend that day. "This caused a rather small jury pool for a trial with relatively high publicity," the motion says.

The motion says, "If additional jurors were called, an impartial jury could have been seated and the trial could have proceeded in Montgomery County as previously scheduled."

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Cynthia Gale Rose had no comment on the motion when contacted Friday. Bill Bartley, Carl Bartley's brother, said he was "stunned" when he heard about the motion.

"It doesn't make any difference what courtroom it's in. You've still got the same evidence and it goes before 12 men and women to decide whether you're guilty or not," Bartley said.

Special Judge Janet Booth will also consider on Monday a defense motion to schedule a suppression hearing. The defense seeks to suppress evidence that it claims was obtained illegally after Kentucky State Police searches.

Greg Kocher in the Nicholasville bureau at (859) 885-5775.

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