Judge denies motion to delay Sheriff Mike Blakely’s trial

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – A Limestone County judge ruled against Sheriff Mike Blakely’s motion Monday morning to push his theft and ethics trial back a month.

Blakely’s trial date remains March 9 after a hearing Monday morning.

Blakely faces 13 theft and ethics charges. Prosecutors say he used his office to steal funds and solicit money from his employees in the sheriff’s office.

Blakely’s attorney, Robert Tuten, said via speakerphone in court Monday he was recovering from surgery and would not be ready to argue his case on March 9. His other attorney, Marcus Helstowski, was never meant to be the main trial attorney in the case, Tuten said, and was brought on to assist him in research and filing motions ahead of the trial.

Prosecutors were against the motion. Clark Morris reminded Judge Pride Tompkins that he said last month there would be no continuances. She also said the court warned Blakely that if he was afraid Tuten wouldn’t be ready for trial he should seek a new attorney.

Tompkins denied Tuten’s motion about three hours after the hearing.

Helstowski said they plan to appeal the judge’s ruling, which means the trial could still be pushed back.

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