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Day 3 of jury selection continues for Sheriff Mike Blakely’s criminal trial

It’s apparent some of the potential jurors know Blakely, or already have some knowledge of the case
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - The third day of jury selection wrapped up for Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s criminal trial. This was the first, full-day media has been allowed to cover it. Blakely is the longest-serving sheriff in the state and is facing multiple theft and ethics charges.

Five-hundred jurors were summoned for this trial. It’s apparent some of the potential jurors know Blakely, or already have some knowledge of the case. Just in the morning of the third day of selection, the judge excused 10 jurors after they answered questions about potential emotions about the case or a potential relationship with the sheriff.

Attorneys from both sides asked questions, including if they already had an opinion about Blakely, an opinion about his job as the county’s sheriff, and whether they could make an impartial decision during the trial. Jurors were first asked questions individually before being questioned as a group.

Blakely is facing 11 charges, 10 of which are felonies. Madison County defense attorney Bruce Gardner has had experience on both ends of the legal spectrum. He says the highest degree of felony in Blakely’s indictment can carry a sentence of two-20 years.

I asked how the process works if Blakely is convicted on some charges, but not others...

“If he’s convicted of some and not others, you know the judge is still well within her purview to give him the minimum or the maximum that that particular conviction would warrant,” said Gardner.

We are told the jury will be seated at Athens High School Friday, July 16. The judge says this trial will likely last a week and a half to four weeks.

Day 3 of Jury selection for Sheriff Mike Blakely trial
Day 3 of Jury selection for Sheriff Mike Blakely trial

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