The estranged wife of a Manchester, Tenn., doctor was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for shooting him multiple times in front of a law office just off the town square in 2013.
Brenda Webb-Bartee was sentenced last week in the shooting of her husband, Dr. Harry Bartee. In a June trial, she was convicted of charges of attempted first-degree murder and employment of a firearm in the commission of a felony. She was found not guilty on a charge of attempted first-degree murder involving her husband's girlfriend, Tara Evans Bartee, whom he has since married.
In sentencing Webb-Bartee, Circuit Court Judge Craig Johnson wrote that consecutive sentencing is mandatory for the conviction for employment of a firearm. That resulted in the sentences being added together rather than made concurrent so they are served at the same time.
Authorities said the day of the shooting that it happened about midday on Dec. 4, 2013, in front of the Rogers, Duncan and North law office on North Spring Street on Manchester's town square. Tara Evans Bartee was waiting in a vehicle parked outside the law office.
According to the sentencing document in Coffee County Circuit Court, Dr. Bartee and Webb-Bartee were attending a divorce mediation in a second-floor office, but the meeting ended around 12:40 p.m. CST with no resolution.
Webb-Bartee "was standing just inside the main front door to the office, with the door open. As Dr. Bartee exited the building, the defendant began shouting, 'You know you can do that,' 'You know you can pay that,' in reference to Dr. Bartee paying $10,000 a month in alimony," documents state. "Dr. Bartee stepped around Ms. Bartee, stating, 'I cannot pay you that,' and began making his way towards his vehicle when Ms.Bartee pulled a pistol out from underneath her black overcoat, pointed it towards Dr. Bartee, and began firing."
Dr. Bartee was struck by five of the seven shots fired. The bullets from the .45-caliber Ruger hit him in the abdomen and groin. The shooting left him with a rib fracture and injuries to his liver, colon, a kidney, small intestine and a spinal disk space. He also suffered acute respiratory failure and septic shock, court records state. The wounds "will most likely affect him the rest of his life."
Johnson wrote that he believes Webb-Bartee is not a risk to other people "but is not convinced she is sorry for her actions."
Webb-Bartee has been incarcerated since she was arrested the day of the shooting.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.