Boy 'normal' after killing


POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2010

Accused teenage killer Vernon Bartley acted normally and was his usual self just hours after police said he killed his 51-year-old neighbor, Karen Ertell, his friends testified in state court yesterday.

Bartley, 17, is on trial for second-degree murder, sexual assault and other charges in connection with Ertell's strangu-lation death on May 25, 2007. He was 15 years old at the time.

The state Family Court waived jurisdiction over him, allowing the state to prosecute Bartley as an adult.

His friends said Bartley picked them up about 8 a.m. and took them cruising in Ertell's car.

Rambo Sadie, 23, said when he met up with Bartley at a friend's house in Ewa Beach, Bartley had a cut on his forehead and his sweater was bloody.

Another friend said the blood was still wet.

(At the request of the prosecution, the Star-Bulletin is not using the name of the second friend, who was 14 at the time of the crime.)

The friends said Bartley told them he got the cut when his auntie threw a coffee cup at him during a fight. They said Bartley also told them the auntie later gave him the car, her credit cards and other items he showed them, including a cell phone, iPod and laptop computer.

;[Preview]    Friends testify in Vernon Bartley's murder trial

The family of Karen Ertell heard testimony from friends of her suspected killer, describing his chilling nonchalance.

Watch ]


The prosecution says Bartley got the cut in a struggle with Ertell as he was strangling her and took the car and items from Ertell's home after she was dead.

Both friends said they believed Bartley's story.

But Sadie said he began to doubt it after Bartley was unsuccessful in withdrawing money from two bank ATMs using Ertell's credit cards. By the time police arrested Bartley that evening at a park where they were drinking alcohol, Sadie said he believed the car was probably stolen.

During the day, Sadie said, Bartley asked him if he had ever had sex with an older woman and described the experience.

The other friend said Bartley asked him twice whether he had killed anybody.