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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bartley talked of fight with 'auntie'

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Attorney Jeffrey Hawk cross-examines a witness during the murder trial of his client Vernon Bartley, seated at right.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Vernon Bartley, accused of murder, claimed that belongings of victim Karen Ertell, including her car and credit cards, were loaned or given to him by his "auntie," friends of Bartley testified yesterday.

One of the friends, a juvenile now attending Campbell High School, said that hours after Ertell died in May 2007, Bartley said he had gotten into a fight with the auntie and that she had hit him on the forehead with a coffee cup.

Then she loaned him her late-model Volvo sedan, the witness said Bartley told him.

Bartley also asked the friend if he had ever killed anyone, witness said.

Another friend, Rambo Sadie, 23, testified that Bartley asked him if he had ever had sex with an older woman.

Bartley is accused of raping and murdering Ertell, 51, on the morning of May 25, 2007, in her 'Ewa Beach home.

Bartley, 17, was 15 years old at the time of the offenses but is being tried as an adult in a nonjury trial before Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall.