Limestone County judges recuse themselves in sheriff’s criminal case

LIMESTONE Co., Ala.- Three judges have recused themselves from the criminal case against 10-term Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

Circuit Judges Chad Wise and Robert M. Baker and District court Judge Matthew R. Huggins filed orders of recusal on Monday.

District Judge Doug Patterson also filed an order recusing himself early Tuesday morning.

WHNT News 19 has learned appointing a judge to Blakely’s case will be the responsibility of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Scott Hoyem from the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts said the presiding circuit court judge in Limestone County will make an official request for an appointment. The request then goes to the Alabama Chief Justice and an out-of-town judge will be appointed.

Blakely was booked into his own jail August 22 after being indicted on 13 counts of theft and ethics charges.

The 13 charges cover conduct over multiple years, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

The first four counts charge Blakely with four separate thefts from his campaign account that total $11,000. Counts five through 10 charge Blakely with illegally taking money from Limestone County funds, including from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Fund.

Count 11 charges Blakely with soliciting a $1,000 wire transfer from a subordinate other than in the ordinary course of business.  Finally, counts 12 and 13 charge Blakely with using his official position or office to acquire interest-free loans.

Specifically, count 12 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans in the form of a $50,000 cashier’s check and/or a $22,189.68 credit.  Count 13 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans by taking money from a safe that was used to store the Limestone County jail inmates’ personal funds.

A court date has not yet been set in Blakely’s case.

WHNT News 19 is committed to giving the most complete information in this high-profile case. You can count on us to bring you the very latest both on air and on WHNT.com.

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