Vernon Bartley's mother says son admitted burglaries - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vernon Bartley's mother says son admitted burglaries

Jillian Bartley Jillian Bartley
Karen Ertell Karen Ertell

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - From the witness stand with her teenaged son in the defendant's seat, Jillian Bartley testified for the prosecution. She said her son, Vernon, admitted he burglarized neighbor Karen Ertell's home in 2006.

"He basically told me he did it because I asked him to tell me the truth. And he did," she said.

Vernon Bartley is accused of raping and strangling the 51-year-old Ertell on May 25, 2007 -- one month after he turned 15 and one day after Ertell was subpoenaed to testify in Family Court about one of his burglaries.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Hawk countered the connection.

"Do you know if Vernon knew that Karen was a witness?" he asked.

"If I had known my son would have known. But he didn't," she said.

After he was arrested, Bartley told police he hid in Ertell's garage, attacked her from behind, and choked her until she became unresponsive.

He said he then watched porn on her computer, stole her wallet and credit cards, and drove away in her Volvo. But he denied having sex with her.

Prosecutor Douglas Chin called Jillian Bartley as the last of his twenty witnesses in the non-jury trial.

She described Vernon as a shy teen with few friends. She said he was failing at school.

"He didn't have much education because he was missing and skipping classes," she said.

Vernon Bartley is 17. He is being tried as an adult. His trial resumes February 24th.

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