New discoveries on day two of testimony for Sheriff Blakely trial

Former jail accountant clerk testifies Blakely would often take money from inmate funds kept in a safe
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:44 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - On the second day of testimony for Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s corruption trial, the day started with a hearing for both sides to discuss witness Trent Willis, founder and CEO of Red Brick Strategies, which worked on Blakely’s campaign.

Blakely’s attorneys called his credibility into question, citing an investigation into campaign theft unrelated to Sheriff Blakely. The judge denied the motion to throw out Willis’ testimony, which also included a request to throw out the count that named Red Brick Strategies.

The judge also denied the defense’s request for a mistrial once again. Willis was allowed to resume testifying. Blakely’s attorneys were able to ask him questions when the jury was brought back to the courtroom.

The defense brought up businesses that Willis allegedly accepted money from but is accused of never completing the projects, getting evicted by landlords, stepping down from a position due to having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor, and more. Willis denied all of the accusations.

Five other witnesses took the stand, including Blakely’s former jail accountant clerk. In her testimony, she said Blakely would regularly take money that belonged to inmates from a safe, and she would mark an IOU to which he would never immediately payback.

During one instance, she said she wired Blakely $1,000 to a casino in Las Vegas while he was there. She said Blakely would repay with a check, and she was often asked to wait to cash or deposit it.

A witness from the Attorney General’s office says those checks totaled almost $30,000. The same witness said campaign fund checks deposited into Blakely’s personal account prevented it from an overdraft.

Testimony revealed a bank teller flagged some of Blakely’s banking activity as suspicious, and Blakely deposited cash into her personal account multiple times in one day and the following day.

Trial will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

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