Day 5 of Blakely trial: Jury selected, opening statements expected Friday

Athens

ATHENS, Ala. – The jury was selected in Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s public corruption trial Friday.

12 women and three men were selected just before 10 a.m. at Athens High School

Proceedings will now move back to the Limestone County Courthouse.

Alabama’s longest-serving sheriff is facing multiple theft and ethics charges. Blakely is accused of stealing money from his campaign and the Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier this week, presiding judge Pamela Baschab initially barred reporters and the public from the courtroom, which is usually open to the public during jury proceedings.

After News 19 and several other media organizations filed a motion in court Tuesday, Baschab reversed her decision and allowed journalists inside the courtroom.

Baschab claims this is the first time she’s ever let reporters inside a courtroom during jury selection.

If opening statements are read Friday, it will include the exact amount Blakely is accused of stealing as well as how prosecutors say it was spent.

If Blakely is convicted, Limestone County Coroner Mike West would become Sheriff until Governor Ivey could appoint a new one.

If he is acquitted, Blakely will be free to keep his job.

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