Alabama court affirms felony convictions of longtime sheriff

October 1, 2022 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state appeals court has upheld the felony convictions of a man who served 38 years as sheriff in a northern Alabama county.

In the unanimous ruling Friday, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals also denied former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s request for a new trial, AL.com reported.

“This evidence was sufficient for the jury to have concluded that Blakely acted with intent to use his public office to obtain personal gain,” Presiding Judge Mary B. Windom wrote.

Blakely was removed from office in August 2021 a jury convicted him of theft and abuse of power. Prosecutors said the theft charge was tied to accusations that he deposited $4,000 of campaign funds into his personal account. The abuse of power charge was tied to Blakely borrowing money from a jail safe that held inmates’ money.

Prosecutors said Blakely received $29,050 in interest-free loans from the safe. Blakely’s attorneys argued that no inmate was ever deprived of money.

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The trial judge gave him a three-year sentence. Blakely remains out on bond and can ask the Alabama Supreme Court to review the case.

Blakely’s attorneys argued to the appeals court that the state failed to show sufficient evidence that he intentionally used his office for personal gain.