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Doctor’s wife is charged in his shooting outside law office after mediation session

Posted Dec 5, 2013 11:29 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A mediation session at a Tennessee lawyer's office Wednesday "apparently didn't go well," a Manchester police investigator says.

As Dr. Henry Bartee and his estranged wife, Brenda Bartee, both 47, were being walked by an attorney to the door of Rogers, Duncan and North at about 1 p.m., Brenda Bartee pulled a handgun out of her waistband and fired seven rounds, Butch Stewart told the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.

Four rounds struck her husband, who was airlifted to a Chattanooga hospital. Brenda Bartee was charged with attempted first-degree murder and is being held at the Coffee County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond, the newspaper reports.

She admitted the shooting, Stewart says, and told police her husband had "been picking on her."

The Tullahoma News reports that assistant police chief Adam Floied said Brenda Bartee told police that both her husband and his girlfriend "had been harassing her.”

He also gave a slightly different account of the shooting, telling the News that "the mediation broke down and Mrs. Bartee left the office and went outside and got the pistol. When the man left the law office, the woman fired seven shots with four of them striking him.”

Stewart said the doctor's girlfriend was at the scene after the shooting, but didn't know whether the woman was at the law office during the mediation session, the Times-Free Press reports.

A man working at a nearby pawn shop told the newspaper that its surveillance camera captured the shooting. "She was about two steps behind him and she shot him right in the back," said Chris Fox. "He hits the ground and she just keeps shooting."

The Tullahoma News says the weapon was a .40 caliber pistol.

Two Bedford County corrections deputies who were in the pawn shop looking at guns for sale ran outside after hearing shots fired, according to the newspapers, and saw Brenda Bartee standing with the the pistol in her hand as her husband lay bleeding. They held her for police, and two pawn shop employees, including Fox, gave the doctor first aid until paramedics arrived.

Nearby coffee shop owner Rebecca Pressley told News Channel 5 that Brenda Bartee had been there before she went to the law firm. "She seemed like she was about to go do something she didn't want to do, like give a deposition for her divorce, but not shoot her husband," said Pressley.

WGNS also has a story.

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