Prosecution rests case against Alabama sheriff’s trial

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A judge on Tuesday dismissed a juror from the trial of a longtime Alabama sheriff following accusations that a jail inmate bragged she is his “old lady” and he could sway her vote.

Judge Pamela Baschab dismissed a juror from the panel after testimony that an inmate at the Limestone County Jail had bragged the mother of his children is on the jury. Inmate Austin Clem testified that the inmate told him his “old lady” was on the jury and that he could persuade her to vote not guilty if the sheriff would let him out of jail.

Blakely faces charges of using his office for personal gain, theft of campaign funds and taking money held by the sheriff’s office. Blakely has continued working as sheriff since being indicted in 2019 on multiple charges but would automatically be removed from office with a felony conviction.

State prosecutors on Tuesday afternoon dismissed a theft charge that accused Blakely of stealing from the county’s law enforcement fund.

State prosecutors on Tuesday concluded their case against Blakely. Defense lawyers began began their case by calling witnesses to try to discredit a campaign consultant who testified for the prosecution last week.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning.