Crime

Montgomery woman found guilty of manslaughter in husband's death

MOREHEAD — A Rowan Circuit Court jury on Thursday night found Pam Bartley guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of her husband, Carl Bartley.

The jury recommended a sentence of eight years. She would be eligible for parole in 19 months. Special Judge Janet Coleman scheduled sentencing for Jan. 19.

"We were hoping for more, but we'll take what we got," said Bill Bartley, a brother of Carl Bartley.

Pam Bartley had been accused of murder in the death of her husband of 38 years. The used-car dealer was found shot in the head in the garage of the couple's home in Jeffersonville in July 2007.

The verdict came after more than eight hours of deliberations.

Second-degree manslaughter is a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison. If the jury had chosen to find Pam Bartley guilty of murder, the sentence would have been 20 years to life.

"From the verdict you returned, I think you found that she snapped," Jim Lowry, one of Pam Bartley's attorneys, told the jury after it delivered the verdict.

Before the jury considered the sentence, it heard testimony from family members of the deceased and the accused.

Carl Bartley's older brother Bill Bartley, speaking directly to Pam Bartley from the witness stand, said: "To shoot him down like a dog, you know better than that."

The defense called the Bartleys' daughter Karla Haas. She said she had "the best mom in the whole wide world."

Referring to whatever sentence Pam Bartley would get, Haas said, "I will miss her so much."

Earlier Thursday, in closing arguments, defense attorney Grover Carrington attacked the prosecution's case. He said state police conducted an incomplete investigation by not interviewing people who could have given a better picture of what happened.

Carrington also said that Katherine Lee, an Irving woman with whom Carl Bartley had had a five-year affair, had motive to kill him. The defense had said Lee was enraged that Carl Bartley would not leave his wife for her.

"It gives her motive and makes her a suspect," Carrington said.

But Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Cynthia Gale Rose said it was Pam Bartley who had motive to kill.

"Pam Bartley killed her husband because he was leaving" her, she said.

Rose said Carl Bartley had gone to a local prosecutor to seek an emergency protective order.

"Carl is afraid. He is fearful for his life," she said. "He is afraid of one person in this world, and that one person is in this courtroom, and that one person is Pam Bartley."

Rose defended the state police investigation.

"I will stand by Detective (Larry) Bowling and his investigation," she said.

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