State responds to defense’s motion to dismiss one of Blakely’s charges

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — The state responded to a motion made after the first full day of testimony to dismiss one of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s criminal charges in his theft and ethics trial.

According to a motion that was filed Monday night by the defense, it asks the court to dismiss Count Two of the indictment, strike the testimony of the state’s witness, and strike all documents admitted pursuant to the testimony of the witness.

Prosecutors were showing evidence of campaign donations to Blakely and then, introducing evidence that he deposited the money in his personal checking account, not the campaign account.

The state witness in question, Trent Willis is the owner of Red Brick Strategies and worked closely with Blakely’s campaign.

Willis testified about a $4,000 payment his firm made to Blakely, but his own background became an issue.

Blakely’s lawyers claimed they were not made aware that a witness [Willis] called by the prosecution was currently under investigation. However, the state said it was brought to their attention in February 2020.

The defense also stated in their motion to dismiss that the statements made by Willis were not made available in discovery. The state argued that the motion can not stand because: “There is insufficient evidence to prove Willis is an accomplice.”

The state response said Willis was not in a position to know where Blakely deposited those funds.

The state also said that Blakely’s claims that his lawyers didn’t get the chance to cross-examine Willis are wrong.

You can read the state’s full response here.

The motion by the defense and state will be argued in court Tuesday morning. Blakely, who has been sheriff since 1983, faces 11 theft and ethics counts.

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