Candidate for sheriff arrested for plot to kidnap retired circuit court judge

This is the week for political scandals I suppose.  James Richard Bartee Jr., who was running for Sheriff in Oconee County, was arrested in court Wednesday and charged with solicitation to commit a felony, accused of trying to hire someone to kidnap retired Circuit Court judge Jimmy Williams in an effort to cause him to miss a court hearing.

Judge Williams had challenged Bartee’s eligibility for office in a lawsuit claiming Bartee had not been a certified law enforcement officer in South Carolina for one year as required by law.  According to the article, Bartee gave cash to an informant, who was wired, for duct tape and zip ties, to kidnap Judge Williams and take him to Asheville until after the hearing.

Bartee says that he was an agent with the Secret Service for 25 years before retiring in 2000.

2 Responses to “Candidate for sheriff arrested for plot to kidnap retired circuit court judge

  • Fritz Lachoff
    6 years ago

    A very disturbing update: James has been found guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was placed in cuffs and sent directly to jail, no bond as his legal defense file appeals. A jury unanimously found him guilty. A travesty of justice to say the least. Please google the news report to read one unbelievable scary story of how a paid informant that has a murder conviction hanging over his head, single handedly entrapped Mr. Bartee into this mess.


    I don’t know if it was a travesty of justice – the jury believes he did it; if true 5 years is not a terrible sentence. From reading the article though, it sounds like the informant may have proposed the idea, and that Bartee may have tried to call it off – if that is true, I’m less comfortable with the verdict.

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