LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — Lawyers for former Limestone County sheriff Mike Blakely filed a motion for a mistrial in his theft and ethics case Thursday, based on a juror’s claim that she really wanted to vote to acquit him.
The motion was accompanied by an affadavit from Sue Pentecost, who claimed medical conditions forced her to vote with the rest of the jury in convicting Blakely on charges of felony theft and abuse of his position as sheriff.
Blakely was still being held Thursday afternoon in the Limestone County Jail without bond.
Jurors found him guilty Monday on the two felony charges; he was acquitted of 11 other charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
But Pentecost claims she was the one person on the jury who did not believe Blakely should have been convicted. According to her affadavit, Pentecost has stage four breast cancer and suffers from atrial fibrillation.
Pentecost claims in the affidavit 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 fear of dying. She also claims other jurors attempted to bully her during deliberations.
“I wanted to get out of that room because I feared I was about to die from either a stroke or brain bleed caused by my AFib and not the words or stress of others,” Pentecost’s affidavit reads. “My medical conditions put me at an extreme risk of both of those.”
Attorneys for Blakely asked in their motion for the judge to either declare a mistrial or have a new trial on the two counts he was convicted of.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the motion.
County coroner Mike West is fulfilling the sheriff’s duties until Gov. Kay Ivey can name a replacement.