As the case against Kenneth Bartley in the 2005 shooting death of former Campbell County vice principal Ken Bruce continues, WBIR 10News is learning more about what penalties he could face if he is convicted.
The state rested its case against Bartley earlier Wednesday, but not before attorneys called two medical examiners to the stand.
Both of those examiners had previously viewed Bruce's body.
After that testimony, Defense Attorney Greg Isaacs asked the court to acquit his client of the felony murder charges placed against him.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood denied that request. Legal expert and Inside Tennessee panelist Don Bosch said there are a number of ways the case could end for Bartley.
However, he said the 22-year-old, who is facing a first-degree premeditated murder charge, is not eligible to receive the death penalty. Bosch said a criminal must be at least 18 years old to get such a sentence.
Bosch went on to say Bartley could receive a sentence of either a life without parole or life with the possibility of parole.
But, he said even with the parole sentence, Bartley would face a minimum of 51 years behind bars.
"If he is convicted of other offenses, the judge has the discretion to stack those offenses on top of that life with parole sentence to effectively create a life sentence from which Bartley would likely not outlive," Bosch said.
If the verdict in the case were to go Bartley's way, Bosch said there is a remote possibility Bartley could actually walk free.
Bartley has been behind bars for a little more than six years.
Bosch said if the jury were to come back with aggravated assault and voluntary manslaughter convictions, the ranges to those punishments are such that it is conceivable Bartley could have already served enough time behind bars to be eligible for an immediate parole and release.
But, Bosch did emphasize the defense hasn't challenged the fact that Bartley pulled the trigger. So, he said its likely we'll see Bartley held accountable for the shooting in some way by the judge and jury.
"If the defense wins, in this case, it's going to mean a lower degree of a homocide as a verdict from this jury," Bosch said. "Then it will be up to the judge to determine sentences."
Bosch said a second degree murder charge for a first time offender, like Bartley, could carry anywhere from 15 to 25 years.Make sure to follow WBIR 10News and WBIR.com for more developments in this case.
The defense will call witnesses to the stand Thursday morning.