Judge Warns To Avoid Media In Trial Of Former Oconee Sheriff Can - WSPA.com

Judge Warns To Avoid Media In Trial Of Former Oconee Sheriff Candidate

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James Bartee (File Photo) James Bartee (File Photo)
Thursday's hearing Thursday's hearing


Updated: March 14, 2013

A hearing in Anderson County is over and the judge has warned both sides to avoid talking to the media in a case involving a former Upstate sheriff's candidate Thursday.

James Bartee has been accused of plotting to kidnap a retired judge. 

Judge McIntosh urged both sides to be more professional.

A gag order was originally requested by Solicitor Chrissy Adams.

Posted: March 15, 2013

On Thursday a circuit court judge will hear a motion as prosecutors with the 10th Circuit Solicitor's Office seek a gag order in the case against former Oconee County Sheriff's candidate James Bartee.

According to a pre-trial motion, Solicitor Chrissy Adams is seeking to keep parties from both sides from making statements to members of the press and refrain from commenting or posting information on social media sites about the case.  Adams states that the motion is based to protect the integrity of the judicial system and to ensure the jury pool does not become tainted.

The pre-trial motion specifically states that statements made by Bartee's attorney,  Jake Moore, of Columbia, to the media have created a reasonable likelihood that the jury pool will be tainted and the integrity of the trial compromised. Adams states that Moore's detailed statements to the press are resulting in nullification of the protective effect of judicial decorum and the rules of evidence.

Adams cites an interview that Moore did with WGOG Radio on March 8 in which he accused prosecutors will destroying the audio recording of conversations between Bartee, who has been charged with conspiracy to kidnap a retired judge, and an informant, Nick Blackwell. She says that the state denies each accusation.

She also cites an article that appeared in the Anderson Independent-Mail on the same day in which Moore makes the same accusation and accuses the state of not being truthful to the court and destroying the audio recording since a hearing on February 8. Moore also alleges that the charges brought against Bartee are politically motivated.

A third instance that Adams cites is an article in the Seneca Journal-Upstate Today that happened on March 12. Adams says that Moore misstated the availability of the audio recording and accuses the state of destroying the audio recording and made inflammatory statements.

The hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Anderson County Courthouse.

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