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State continues to call witnesses in trial of Limestone County Sheriff

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:20 AM CDT
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Update as of 11:00 a.m. - Allegations of witness intimidation, huge lottery earnings, and gambling were just some of the topics discussed in court on Thursday.

Before the jury entered the room attorneys took up several matters with the judge. During this, defense attorneys alleged they heard about witness intimidation. They said they heard two individuals approached a witness in this case named Investigator Kilpatrick, and told him that they heard the investigator was told to lie on the stand.

On Thursday we heard about that interaction from Investigator Kilpatrick himself. He said two FBI agents approached him and asked if he was told to lie on the stand. Investigator Kilpatrick said they may have been taking an interaction he had out of context.

Kilpatrick said during the last meeting at the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Blakely told him to “do good in there boy.” Investigator Kilpatrick said that interaction with the FBI agents was intimidating. The allegation that that interaction was what those FBI agents were referring to was denied.

Once the jury came in, a director of casino operations employed by MGM testified and spoke about several documents, including one that follows transactions. His testimony revealed Sheriff Blakely checked in on August 16, 2016, and out on August 18th. The document followed several transactions of Sheriff Blakely exchanging money for chips.

When asked how much in total Sheriff Blakely exchanged for chips the witness said about $20,000 in total over just a few days. He stated the sheriff redeemed $1,000.

Upon cross-examination, jurors learned that it’s possible not every winning was accounted for. In fact, the witness admitted it’s possible the sheriff could have even broken even. The defense attorney asked the witness if he knew that Sheriff Blakely allegedly won $975,000 in a lottery just weeks before this trip.

Steven Turner, a former commissioner also took the stand. He talked about golfing and taking a trip with the sheriff during a conference.

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Gambling on work trips.

That was the allegation talked about most in Wednesday’s court proceedings of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

Limestone County Sheriff’s Office Clerk Debbie Davis took the stand yesterday.

Davis testified that Sheriff Blakely borrowed money from a specific fund, there would be an IOU, then he would pay that money back. She also said she loaned Sheriff Blakely $1,000 of her own personal money. She said she wired it to him at a casino in Biloxi when he was supposed to be at a conference somewhere else. Davis said she did this because she wanted to and not because she felt pressured.

On the stand, Davis seemed to change some of her responses several times. Upon cross-examination, the defense touched on that. When asked if memory fades as time goes on Davis said yes.

The state had also asked Davis if Sheriff Blakely could fire her at any time, but during cross WAFF 48 learned that Davis is a commissioned employee. It was stated that if she were to be fired it would require a personnel meeting.

The state also alleges Blakely spent time gambling while at conferences, and they called an employee from a Las Vegas casino to testify. The state also used records from the sheriff’s players club card to show gambling activity. Other investigators testified that they were on the Las Vegas trip and loaned Sheriff Blakely money.

Two investigators on the stand today testified they were on the Vegas trip and loaned Blakely money. They also said Blakely paid for gas and lodging on the trip.

The defense’s argument is that more than one person can use the same player’s card. Defense attorneys have said since the beginning of this trial that no crime was committed.

We will continue updating you on this developing story.

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