State Investigator Testifies At Bartee Trial - WSPA.com

State Investigator Testifies At Bartee Trial

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James Bartee was arrested on May 30, 2012 and charged with solicitation to commit a felony. Bartee allegedly hired Nick Blackwell to kidnap a former judge before a hearing on May 30. James Bartee was arrested on May 30, 2012 and charged with solicitation to commit a felony. Bartee allegedly hired Nick Blackwell to kidnap a former judge before a hearing on May 30.
ANDERSON, SC -

A SLED Agent, who works undercover, testified about an investigation into the alleged plot to kidnap a former judge.

James Bartee was arrested on May 30, 2012 and charged with solicitation to commit a felony. Bartee allegedly hired Nick Blackwell to kidnap a former judge before a hearing on May 30.

The Agent says he was contacted by Oconee County Sheriff James Singleton on May 29, 2012 about an alleged plot to kidnap former judge, James Williams. Because the plot involved someone running for Oconee County Sheriff, Sheriff Singleton didn't want Oconee County to investigate, the agent said.

The agent says he called Blackwell on May 29, 2012 and told him if he was lying he would take Blackwell to jail that night. The agent says he interviewed Blackwell at the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

The agent testified Blackwell was able to provide a lot of detail including saying that Bartee had suggested Blackwell wear a white polo with a news logo on it when he went to the judge. The agent testified Blackwell told him Bartee thought this would help him kidnap the judge because Judge Williams likes the media.

The prosecution asked the agent about the recorded conversation.

"I was shocked," the agent said, "I couldn't believe what I was hearing."

The prosecution rested their case and court recessed for lunch.

Bartee’s defense team picked up after lunch. First, the judge asked if Bartee would take the stand. The defense said they weren’t ready to answer that.

 

The defense called several witnesses who called into question Nick Blackwell’s character. Several witnesses testified that they met Blackwell when he was ranting, calling for Bartee and disrupting classes at Bartee’s martial arts center, Aikido.

One witness, William John Kundolf testified Bartee told him how to calm Blackwell down.  Kundolf told the court Bartee taught him to tell Blackwell “calm down, don’t get excited, go home and take care of your wife and children.”

The defense also called a Former FBI Computer Expert to testify. The expert testified to the recording. He said it hadn’t been tampered with but there was no way to authenticate when it was recorded.

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