Relief petition filed for convicted Campbell Co. school shooter

Relief petition filed for convicted Campbell County school shooter

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Kenneth Bartley, Jr. Kenneth Bartley, Jr.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Convicted Campbell County School shooter Kenneth Bartley, Jr. has filed a petition for relief from his conviction.

The petition was filed on Monday by Bartley's Knoxville attorney, Greg Isaacs.

Bartley, at age 15 in 2007, took a defense lawyer's advice and accepted a plea deal that brought him a 45-year prison sentence with possible parole in 25 years.

Bartley was 14 in April 2005 when he was accused of felony murder in the shooting death of Campbell County Comprehensive High School Assistant Principal Ken Bruce and the wounding of Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce.

Bartley is serving his sentence at the Northwest Tennessee Correctional Complex in Tiptonville.

Bartley told investigators he stole his father's gun and brought it to school to trade for OxyContin. He didn't load the gun or fire it until his confrontation with administrators. Isaacs argues those circumstances don't support a first-degree murder case.

The petition claims Bartley fired the shots after taking several valium pills. It says he also told officers the shooting would not have happened if he hadn't taken medication.

Bartley agreed to the plea deal on the first day of his trial in April 2007 without hearing it read in full or having a "meaningful opportunity" to discuss it with his parents, Isaacs writes.

A trial court denied a motion for Bartley to withdraw his plea a month after the agreement.

The Court of Criminal Appeals denied an appeal by Bartley in 2009.

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