Campbell County community reacts to Bartley trial

Campbell County community reacts to Bartley trial

Posted:
"I am glad Kenny came out and told his story this time, that's something that never happened," said Gary Welden. "I am glad Kenny came out and told his story this time, that's something that never happened," said Gary Welden.
"I heard the announcement to lock down your classroom, I heard the voice of Mr. Seale and when I heard it, I knew something was wrong," recalled Jack Lynch, an economics teacher at Campbell County High School. "I heard the announcement to lock down your classroom, I heard the voice of Mr. Seale and when I heard it, I knew something was wrong," recalled Jack Lynch, an economics teacher at Campbell County High School.
8 years later, a highway sign stands to commemorate the late Ken Bruce 8 years later, a highway sign stands to commemorate the late Ken Bruce

By ALEXIS ZOTOS

6 News Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) –  It may be eight years after a school shooting at Campbell County High School, but it's a day many people in the county remember vividly.

Kenny Bartley, then 14, is accused of bringing a gun to Campbell County High School on November 8, 2005. When administrators confronted him, Bartley allegedly fired the weapon. Thursday Bartley took the stand in his own defense and for the first time people heard his side of what happened that day.

"I heard the announcement to lock down your classroom, I heard the voice of Mr. Seale and when I heard it, I knew something was wrong," recalled Jack Lynch, an economics teacher at Campbell County High School.

It's a day Lynch will never forget.

"The trial brings up a lot of memories, a lot of sad memories," he said.

Lynch and many others in Campbell County have been following the trial all week. It's bringing back memories from that day.

"I remember I talked to him a few days before. I saw him in the guidance counselor's office. He had changed his schedule, I patted him on the back and told him that looked like a good schedule. That's the last time I ever talked to the young man,"

Eight years later, that 14 year old freshman is all grown up and finally sharing his memories of that day.

Bartley took the stand today.

"I never intended to hurt anybody that day," he told the jury.

It was the first time the people of Campbell County heard the account from his eyes.

"I am glad Kenny came out and told his story this time, that's something that never happened," said Gary Welden.

Welden, like many in Campbell County, knew Bartley growing up. But Welden had children in school that day and recalls the terrifying hours not knowing what happened inside the school.

"There's a lot of mixed emotions, definitely time for closure with this," said Welden.

Closure that's been a long time coming for the small community, a community that grew up knowing both the victims and the accused.

"Nobodies a winner, nobody," said Lynch.

Questions have been raised throughout the trial about what happened in that office, but even hearing Bartley's version for the first time, there's still a doubt that the people of Campbell County will ever really know.

"Only the four people in that room really know what happened, could it have been prevented? We can't say," said Welden.

"We have to trust the justice system and believe that justice will be done," said Lynch.

Closing statements will begin Friday morning at 8:30.

 

 

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.