CHATTANOOGA (WATE) – A Hamilton County jury was seated Friday afternoon in the trial for the man accused in the deadly 2005 shooting at Campbell County High School.
The jury of six men and six women was selected from a pool of 400 candidates. Four alternates were chosen as well, two men and two women.
Bartley is accused of walking into the Campbell County High School cafeteria with a gun on November 8, 2005. He was then escorted to the office. Allegedly, that’s when administrators confronted him and Bartley fired the weapon.
Assistant Principal Ken Bruce was killed. Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce were wounded.
Seale and Pierce were in the courtroom Friday, sitting beside the family members of Ken Bruce.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood made sure the pool of potential jurors understood that serving on this jury was a duty to be taken seriously.
He and attorneys spent hours asking questions trying to find an impartial jury.
“You’ll hear about a 14-year-old who brought to school a pocketful of pills and a loaded gun,” said District Attorney Lori Phillips-Jones.
She asked the pool of potential jurors if they would have an issue convicting someone because of their age.
“Would you have any reservations at all if the state proves to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed first degree murder, or felony murder for that matter?” she asked.
Bartley’s attorney Greg Isaacs made sure the potential jurors understood the defense did not have to prove Bartley’s innocence. Isaacs also told the pool there is a difference between going to a school with the intent to shoot, and having a gun and responding to stressful circumstances.
“The proof you’ll hear that someone panicked, you have to consider they were 14 years old when they panicked. Can we all do that?” Isaacs asked the jury pool.
The judge also asked the potential jurors questions to make sure they could be fair and impartial, even if they were a victim of a crime.
“We need to know if there is any possibility that that tragedy that your family has suffered would have any possibility or chance of effecting this case that charges Mr. Bartley with murder,” Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood told the potential jurors.
The trial starts Monday. The jurors will be sequestered in Campbell County.