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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – A retired Colbert County judge has been appointed to preside over Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s criminal case.

According to our news partner, retired Colbert County Circuit Judge Pride Tompkins will try the case.

Blakley is charged with 13 counts of theft and ethics charges, some of which stated Blakely illegally took money from county funds, including the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement fund.

Blakely, who has access to the county’s largest budget, reportedly over $4.5 million, also reported thousands of dollars in gambling winnings since 2016.

Our news partners at said Blakely reported $50,000-$150,000 in winnings in both 2017 and 2018, along with more than $250,000 in 2016.

Blakely also co-owns a racehorse with Limestone County Commissioner Steve “Ned” Turner, and retired deputy Johnny McDonald.

Earlier this week, all four Limestone County judges recused themselves from hearing the case against the 10-term sheriff.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker made the appointment.

According to, Tomkins has served as a specialty appointed judge in the past.

Read the entire assignment order here: