LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — Former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Sue Bell Cobb will appear on behalf of former Limestone County sheriff Mike Blakely at his sentencing Friday.
Online court records show Cobb filed a notice of appearance as counsel for Blakely Thursday afternoon.
Blakely will be sentenced Friday morning for felony theft and ethics convictions. A jury convicted him Aug. 2.
Blakely’s felonies carry a sentencing range of 2 to 20 years in prison. But under Alabama law, Blakely is unlikely to face prison time, as the theft charge falls under Alabama’s presumptive sentencing guidelines. The guidelines largely direct judges to sentence based on a sentencing score derived from a worksheet.
Cobb served as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2007-2011. Prior to that she served on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. As chief justice, she played a key role in helping establish new sentencing guidelines in Alabama for non-violent offenders convicted of property crimes — like the former sheriff.
The two felony convictions led to Blakely’s removal as sheriff. County coroner Mike West is performing sheriff’s duties until Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey can appoint a replacement.