Former Campbell County Comprehensive High School student Kenneth Bartley Jr. will go free today after a jury found him not guilty on one charge of first-degree felony murder and on two charges of attempted murder.
Bartley has been serving a 45-year prison sentence since confessing to the November 2005 shooting death of Assistant Principal Ken Bruce. He also pleaded guilty to wounding Principal Gary Seale and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce. The three administrators were confronting Bartley about bringing a gun to school.
However, Bartley’s attorneys argued the 15 year-old was in no position to approve the plea deal. A judge eventually threw out the confession and ordered this week’s trial.
The jury did find Bartley guilty of reckless homicide today, a lesser charge that carries a two-to-four year prison sentence. But Bartley has already served eight years and will get credit for that time.