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Request for new trial filed for Mike Blakely; What happens next

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely wants a new trial.

His request comes after being sentenced to three years in jail on a theft and ethics conviction. He’s out of jail on an appeal bond but his defense team now says he deserves a new trial.

There are 49 reasons listed on the motion, but the judge only has to agree on one of these reasons to allow a new trial. The defense team is essentially asking for a do-over for former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely is asking for.

The motion for a new trial was filed Monday.

It breaks down 49 reasons why Blakely was not given a fair trial.

Criminal Defense Attorney Russell Crumbley is not involved in the case but says a judge granting a new trial may not be likely.

“Judges have to make these decisions real time, in the courtroom and sometimes when they go back and do a little research they may realize that they did not make the right call,” he explained.

Decisions made by the judge and actions by state prosecutors during Blakely’s trial are all pointed out in the motion. One alleges prosecutors shared personal opinions about the evidence, another says the prosecution intimidated witnesses and it states evidence was used inappropriately.

But here’s the key, would any of these reasons have changed the outcome of the trial?

“If it was a significant ruling that would have affected the outcome of the trial, they can send it back, wipe out the convictions and start all over,” Crumbley said.

Crumbley says even if the request for a new trial is denied, the defense team will be ready for an appeal.

The next step is a hearing when the judge will decide.

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