A classmate of Kenneth Bartley reacts to reckless homicide verdict.


(WBIR) Sarah Richardson was a junior at Campbell County High School on Tuesday, November 8, 2005. That's the day when Kenneth Bartley, then 14 years old, opened fire inside the school's office.

"I was actually checking out of the office about the time the shooting had occurred to go to a doctor's appointment," she recalled.

Richardson said she's been watching Bartley's trial play out online and although she's not happy with the jury's decision, she's not surprised.

"There are a whole lot of 'what ifs'. What if they had went about approaching him a different way? What if no one had ever told on him? Would anything have happened? Would we have went about the school day like it was a normal school day and no one would have ever known that he had a gun?"

Richardson said although she really didn't interact with Bartley in high school, the two were somewhat friends in middle school. She never thought Bartley would have pulled the trigger.

"He always seemed like a sweet kid. Yeah he got in trouble, but everybody gets in trouble at one point or another," she said.

A little more than eight years after the deadly school shooting, Bartley was released Friday on bond. Richardson thinks more should be done.

"I don't think the amount of time he's already served is enough because he did kill someone. There's no doubt that he killed a person, whether he intentionally meant to kill someone or not. And I don't think there's ever a point where someone can be punished enough for that," she said. "It's scary to think that he's out of jail now. And how is his state of mind? Has he changed any?"

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