It took a jury less than an hour to find Kenneth Bartley not guilty in the assault charges he picked up last summer.
In August deputies were called to the home of Kenneth’s father in LaFollette. According to the report at scene the Volunteer Times reported, “Upon arriving at the residence they were met by Kimberly Houston of Knoxville, Houston is reported to be the girlfriend of the elder Bartley. Houston told Tackett that Kenneth Bartley arrived at his father’s home with a group of people wanting money. Houston indicated that Kenneth Bartley was told to leave multiple times. According to the report Kenneth Bartley told Houston, “Get out of my face, bitch. I will kill you!” She then reported that Kenneth Bartley picked up a rubber mallet. Houston indicated that she was in fear for her life due to Kenneth Bartley’s past. Houston fled and retrieved a revolver. She claims to have never pointed the gun at Kenneth Bartley and proceeded to tell him to leave, which he did.”
At the trial Houston testified that she was a friend of both Bartley’s and had tried to help Kenneth with his issues including drug addiction and homelessness. She said when Kenneth showed up in august he was showing signs of drug use and asking for money from his father. She mentioned an incident a couple fo days earlier and said she felt something bad was about to happen. She retrieved a gun and told the younger Bartley to leave. This is when she claimed he grabbed the mallet.
Houston claimed Kenneth Bartley made a threat but could not exactly recall what he said. She testified that she ordered him to the ground and that he complied. According to the report that Houston made to Campbell County Deputy Tosha Tackett Kenneth Bartley actually threatened to kill her, which is the basis of the felony charge. Houston claimed she did not recall saying that.
Assistant District Attorney David Pollard stated that picking up and displaying the deadly weapon while making Houston feel fear met the criteria aggravated assault. Bartley’s attorney Wesley Brooks contended that Houston had a loaded gun and that under the circumstances she had no reason to fear that she was in danger.
The jury agreed with Brooks as they found Kenneth Bartley not guilty. He was seen leaving the courtroom with his parents.