Judge dismisses former Limestone Sheriff Blakely’s Rule 32 motion
LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Limestone County judge has denied former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s Rule 32 motion, his attorney’s latest appeal effort.
Judge Tim Jolley, who was recently appointed to the case, ruled to dismiss the motion on Saturday, saying it was “insufficient to merit relief”. The order came after a hearing regarding the appeal effort on May 10.
In August 2021, Blakely was found guilty of theft of property and use of office for personal gain, and not guilty on eight counts by a jury following a trial of more than two weeks.
In the Rule 32 petition, Blakely’s attorneys focused on retired Alabama Court of Appeals Judge Pamela Baschab’s status with the state bar association, claiming that her membership was not active when Blakely went on trial in July 2021. The documents argued that Baschab was not legally qualified to preside over Blakely’s trial because she was not licensed to practice the right.
The state alleged during the hearing that Blakely’s request was “procedurally barred” because they did not raise concerns about Judge Baschab’s license during the trial and on the previous appeal. . Blakely’s attorneys did not file the motion until more than a year after his conviction.
Judge Jolley said in his order dismissing the motion: “This Court declines Blakely’s invitation to graft upon the Alabama Constitution or Code an additional unstated requirement that the Chief Justice may appoint only judges who maintain an active license to practice law with the Alabama State Bar Because neither requires a retired judge – not least a judge with more thirty years of unblemished service – maintains an active license to practice law, Judge Baschab’s appointment was lawful and proper.
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The Alabama Supreme Court denied his appeal on February 10. Previously, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals had also denied his request to have his conviction and sentence overturned – as well as his request for a rehearing.
Blakely was sentenced to three years on the theft and ethics charges for which he was convicted and is currently serving his sentence in Franklin County Jail.
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