Judge denies Blakely’s motion for mistrial

Athens

ATHENS, Ala. — The judge denied former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s motion for mistrial in his theft and ethics case Friday morning.

Blakely’s lawyers filed a motion for mistrial after a juror, Susan Pentecost, came forward and said her medical conditions forced her to vote with the rest of the jury to convict Blakely on two felonies.

The state filed a motion to strike Blakely’s motion for mistrial early Friday morning and a few hours later, it was denied by Judge Pamela Baschab.

The state said the motion for mistrial should be struck because the motion was filed before Blakely was sentenced, which is against court procedures, and that the motion violates a rule of evidence where a juror cannot ‘attack or impeach’ their own verdict.

According to Pentecost’s affidavit, she has stage-four breast cancer and suffers from atrial fibrillation. She claimed that she gets “extremely lethargic and exhausted” because of her medical conditions, and she cast her vote for guilty because she wanted to get out of the room over a fear of dying.

She also claimed other jurors attempted to bully her during deliberations.

At the end of the reading of the verdict, the court asked the jurors, including Pentecost, if the verdict was their own and they all agreed.

Blakely was still being held at the Limestone County Jail on Friday morning without bond.

Jurors found him guilty on two out of 11 theft and ethics charges on Monday afternoon. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

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