Montgomery man's mistress testifies in wife's trial

gkocher1@herald-leader.comDecember 9, 2009 

MOREHEAD — A woman who acknowledged having an affair with a Jeffersonville used-car dealer said she had never owned or fired a gun and denied she had a motive to kill him.

The testimony came Tuesday during the trial of Pamela Bartley, 58, of Montgomery County, who is charged with murder in the 2007 shooting death of her husband, Carl Bartley, 58. The trial was moved to Morehead after a jury could not be seated in Pamela Bartley's first trial in July in Mount Sterling.

Katherine Lee of Irvine acknowledged she had had a sexual relationship with Carl Bartley for several years while he was married to Pamela Bartley. Defense attorneys allege Katherine Lee had a motive to kill Carl Bartley after he rebuffed her demands to leave Pamela Bartley.

But the prosecution maintains Pamela Bartley is the only person who wanted her husband of 38 years dead. On July 21, 2007, Carl Bartley was found shot in the back of the head in the garage of the couple's Jeffersonville home.

In her opening statement, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Cynthia Gale Rose told the jury Pamela Bartley carried a .38-caliber handgun in her purse — or sometimes in her bra — and referred to the firearm as "my baby."

During a direct examination, Rose asked Lee, "Have you ever owned a gun?"

"No, ma'am," Lee answered.

"Have you ever fired a gun?"

"No, ma'am," Lee said.

Lee, the first witness in the trial, said she had never wanted to marry Carl Bartley because that would have meant the loss of state medical benefits she receives.

"I'm not interested in getting married," Lee said during a cross-examination by defense attorney Jim Lowry. "If I married, I would lose the medical."

Sandy Ballard, Carl Bartley's sister, said his wife was furious after learning about the affair.

Ballard testified she heard Pamela Bartley say, "I will kill him before someone else gets him."

Ballard also testified she had seen Pamela Bartley take a gun out of her pocket and tell Carl, "I'll take care of you with this."

Rose said in her opening statement that Carl Bartley had also talked with another Montgomery County prosecutor about getting an emergency protective order against Pamela Bartley.

Pamela Bartley "had the motive to kill, she had the means to kill, and she did kill him," Rose told the jurors.

But in his opening statement, defense attorney Grover Carrington said there are others who had reasons to want Carl Bartley dead.

For example, Carl Bartley was charged in 2006 with forgery after signing another person's name on a title. That same year, he had been charged with complicity to trafficking in cocaine for failing to report the sale of the drug at his car lot.

In addition, Carrington noted Bartley was a witness in a federal investigation of jury tampering during the 2007 vote-buying trial of former Bath County Attorney Donald "Champ" Maze. Carl Bartley was not charged in the jury-tampering case.

"At the end of the day," Carrington told the jury, "you're going to have a substantial doubt about Pamela Bartley's guilt and will find her not guilty."

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