Defense presents case in Blakely theft trial

Athens

ATHENS, Ala. – The theft and ethics trial of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely continued Wednesday. Testimony focused on laws around campaign money and an account of a conference trip by a Limestone County Commissioner.

But what could prove to be the most important testimony is still ahead of us. During the defense’s opening — they indicated Sheriff Blakely would be testifying soon.

The defense said it would have its case wrapped by Thursday.

The defense called a number of witnesses, including a woman who read a deposition because one witness wasn’t able to be present.

The defense also called one of Blakely’s jail administrators, Tammy Waddell. In 2016, Waddell went with the sheriff to an annual county commissioner’s conference in Gulf Shores.

During direct examination, Waddell testified she was contacted by the Attorney General’s office for an interview in 2019 regarding Sheriff Blakely’s ethics investigation.

She said she felt intimated during her interview. Waddell testified investigators slapped their hands on the table and told her she could be prosecuted if she didn’t tell the truth. But the state played audio files of the interview that seemed to contradict her story about aggression from the interviewers.

After that, Waddell offered to better explain why she felt intimidated, but the state declined to let her. During redirect, she said the intimidation took place prior to the recording.

Waddell testified she would never get on the stand and lie.

The defense also called Roy Brooks, an LCSO corrections officer and supervisor, to the stand. He spoke about how inmate labor programs work and how it’s common for inmates to be hired to do certain jobs.

Court is set to resume Thursday at 9 a.m.

App users, tap here to follow Wednesday’s live blog.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories