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TBI held purported ‘missing interviews’

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Evidence hiccup unlikely to delay Bartley school-shooting trial

By Beth Braden

JACKSBORO—Kenny Bartley’s school-shooting trial should not be delayed after claims of “missing” evidence surfaced from his defense attorney Greg Isaacs.

A motion filed late Friday alleged that two videotapes of eyewitnesses in the fatal 2005 Campbell County High School shooting had been misplaced, and therefore charges against Bartley should be thrown out.

While Knoxville media outlets reported on the missing and lost evidence, on Monday, Eighth Judicial District Attorney Lori Phillips-Jones said the tapes were never lost — rather it just required extra legwork to obtain the evidence.

The tapes, which contained the statements of Jim Pierce and Gary Seale, were in possession of a TBI agent who has since retired from the bureau.

The tapes were presented to the defense on Monday for review.

Isaacs called the motion to dismiss the charges “moot” now since the video has been provided.

“I appreciate the state’s professionalism in providing and locating evidence which had never been previously provided,” he said.

Bartley was granted a new trial last year after the court of criminal appeals determined his split-second decision to take a 45-year plea deal was ill-advised.

He was 14 when he took a gun to Campbell County High School on Nov. 8, 2005. By the end of the day, Ken Bruce was dead, and Jim Pierce and Gary Seale were wounded.

Both Isaacs and Phillips-Jones expect the trial to go on as scheduled for Feb. 24.