FORT WORTH, Texas - A Richland Hills man accused of carving a pentagram was found guilty on Thursday afternoon of aggravated assault.
Brent Bartel’s attorneys attempted to use the insanity defense to keep their client out of jail. During testimony, they claimed he was abused as a child and had mental health experts testify that he suffers from schizophrenia.
But, prosecutors argued Bartel knew right from wrong.
Bartel was convicted on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after about five hours of jury deliberation on Thursday. The case immediately moved to the punishment phase, where he faces a maximum of life in prison.
He was arrested in 2012 after he told a 911 dispatcher that he used a box cutter to carve a pentagram onto his 6-year-old son’s back.
When asked why, Bartel told the dispatcher, "It's a holy day."
Jurors heard statements he made to officers while sitting in the back seat of a patrol car immediately after the incident. He told the officers his wife had been acting like Jezebel (a whore), so he had to sacrifice his son because of her sin.
“I did what I had to do to save my wife’s soul. I’m 38 years old, my son is 6 and the date is 12/12/12. It’s all about the numbers. The numbers are the key. My wife’s a sinner and she refuses to repent. So the only way to save her soul is to shred the blood of an innocent child,” Bartel said.
During closing arguments Thursday, Bartel’s attorneys said he felt he was just defending his family.
Bartel has been found too incompetent for trial several times. But last year a judge ruled that he was healthy enough to stand trial.