Defense rests case in Sheriff Mike Blakely trial
LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Update: The defense has rested its case:
Blakely’s testimony below:
As far as $1,000 check from TVA for rodeo ground work, Blakely says he got this check in the mail and didn’t pay attention to fine print of what it was for. Blakely says he had just purchased new AC unit and thought it was a rebate for that. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Blakely says when he booked everything for ACCA conference, he never intended to attend the whole thing, he knew he would play in the golf tournament. Blakely says he met a lot of other Sheriffs there and went to see all the vendors while he was there. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Blakely got an opportunity to play on a very exclusive golf course in Biloxi. Says after they played golf in Biloxi, they went to casino. Blakely says he won big and told commissioners who were there if they got there in 5 mins, he would give them each $500 chip. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Did the trip to Biloxi cost the county anything?— Tiffany Thompson WAFF 48 (@Tiffanywaff48) July 29, 2021
How was the room and golf paid for? Comped
I contacted Debbie and asked her to send me $1,000
Would you have fired Davis if she didn’t send you the money? No
Pullum- house— Tiffany Thompson WAFF 48 (@Tiffanywaff48) July 29, 2021
Initially I had mentioned I was thinking about selling mom and dads house.
He calls me and tells me he wants to show house
Personally I didn’t want to fool with it
But he calls me the people wanting to look at it he felt sure would buy it
Blakely talking about overpaid salary. Noticed his checks were wrong (higher than usual) and commission didn’t do anything, then he was notified he was overpaid $28,000 over several years. Was told he could pay all at once or over a few months. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Blakely says he was riding horses with Tall Paul and told him about the money he owed for being overpaid and Tall Paul offered to loan him $30,000. Blakely said he didn’t know when he could pay him back and Tall Paul said he wasn’t worried about it. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Talking about pistol permit money-— Tiffany Thompson WAFF 48 (@Tiffanywaff48) July 29, 2021
“You will have cash there on hand on any given day. This money would always be used as petty cash.”-MB
If they wanted to put a check in for lunch money- there’s no issue wirh that— Tiffany Thompson WAFF 48 (@Tiffanywaff48) July 29, 2021
Checks used like petty cash-
MB said he had one check held. He wanted to beat the check to the bank and got paid the next day.
He said he didn’t know it was being held for months.
State bringing up AL Realtors campaign donation check. Blakely says campaign owed him money, he talked to T-Bird who told him to keep check. State says T-Bird testified he doesn’t know about this check, Blakely says he heard T-Bird testify he didn’t remember. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
State showing form Blakely used to open campaign account at First National Bank. It shows on new account card that both Blakely and T-Bird at signatories on account. State says any checks discussed, he could have put on campaign account. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
State bringing up Red Brick Strategies. Blakely reiterating he realized he would have leftover campaign money, thanked Plunk for kindness in paying RBS, and told him campaign would pay RBS, that’s why he cut check for $7,500 (Willis told him this is how much he owed) @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
State showing letter from ethics commission came on Jan. 31 2018. Blakely says he does not remember if Debbie Davis showed him this letter. State says the Austin Hinds check $ was put into campaign account the same day. Blakely says no, it was in February, he was right. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
At least as of now you realize all of your campaign donations legally needed to go into your campaign account?— Tiffany Thompson WAFF 48 (@Tiffanywaff48) July 29, 2021
When you put those in your personal account that was illegal?
State brings up how Blakely gave commissioners $500 chip. State asks how big chip was and he circled his hand and said “about this big” and the whole courtroom starts laughing. State says he gave chips to them to cash out so he wouldn’t get taxed. @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Blakely says T-Bird had the checkbook to the campaign account, also says he communicates w/ T-Bird other ways than just his cellphone (referring to state showing cellphone call records between the 2 in regards to depositing the realtors check) @waff48— Madison Scarpino WAFF 48 (@madisonscarpino) July 29, 2021
Original: After less than two days of defense testimony, Mike Blakely’s attorneys could rest their case as soon as Thursday. It’s looking like this case will be in the hands of the jury very soon.
The defense is quickly going through their witnesses as opposed to the prosecution who had testimony for over a week, but Sheriff Blakely himself still has yet to take the stand. We’ll find out Thursday if the Sheriff will testify.
Wednesday began with cross-examination for expert in state elections and campaigns Steve Raby. Raby testified that mistakes on campaign records are often made, especially in local elections. Raby also said dozens, if not hundreds, of candidates he’s worked with, have deposited campaign funds into personal accounts, and none have been charged with theft.
You may remember Limestone County Sheriff’s Office Chief Clerk Debbie Davis who was called to testify twice. One of Blakely’s charges revolves around her wiring him $1,000 to a casino in Biloxi, and today her husband Jerry Davis testified he told Debbie to wire their personal money. Jerry said he did this because Blakely is a friend, and he would do it again.
Tammy Waddell was one of the two jail workers who testified Wednesday, and she spoke of a meeting she had with an Attorney Generals investigator and FBI agent a few years back to discuss the case. She felt very intimidated by them, and that things got heated when she believed they were wanting an answer from her that was not true.
The state played a recording of part of the interview where Waddell said the investigators were professional and did not raise their voices at her when they asked her about this. The state questioned Waddell why she changed her answer and why she never told them she felt intimidated. Waddell said, “If I was comfortable with your office, maybe I would have,”
Copyright 2021 WAFF. All rights reserved.