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Judge seals Limestone County Sheriff’s criminal case; sheriff remains hospitalized

Limestone County Sheriff trial delayed WAFF
Limestone County Sheriff trial delayed WAFF(waff)
Updated: Mar. 8, 2020 at 8:57 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) -Judge Pride Thompkins has ordered Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s upcoming case to be sealed.

This means the public will not be able to view court documents until the seal is lifted and the judge hands down new scheduling orders.

On Saturday, an emergency hearing was held at the Limestone County courthouse to discuss Sheriff Mike Blakely’s upcoming trial. This comes after a judge denied Blakely’s request for a trial.

Blakely’s attorneys then filed additional court documents stating the Sheriff has acute respiratory failure and asthma and claims he’s currently undergoing testing for the Wuhan coronavirus.

During the hearing, Primary Care Physician Dr. Maria Acelejado took the stand and testified that Blakely came into Athens Limestone Hospital Friday at 5:15 a.m complaining of shortness of breath.

He was tested for 16 different illnesses, but nothing came back positive for any strain of coronavirus.

Dr. Acelejado stated that due to Sheriff Blakely’s illnesses, he wouldn’t be discharged in time for his trial on Monday.

As a result, Judge Pride Tompkins ordered the jury to come back to the courtroom on Monday, where they would be divided up into panels.

Judge Tompkins also said he was very disturbed by the motion stating Sheriff Blakely had the coronavirus because it is irresponsible and puts fear into the community

But defense attorney Robert Tuten followed up with an apology to Judge Tompkins saying that he and his team were not trying to pull a fast one or mislead anyone and was told by Sheriff Blakely of his illness.

Tremaine Crutcher was among several people who showed up for the emergency hearing Saturday morning.

“I don’t think that he is sick from the corona flu, I think that he is sick from the truth and this is an example of us trying to deal with spiritual and criminal principalities in high places and I think the charges should stick and they are pointing at the right person," said Crutcher.

Judge Tompkins dismissed two of the counts against Blakely Friday, at the request of prosecutors.

He still faces 11 counts of theft and using his office for personal gain

The trial will resume on March 16th.

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