Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has pleaded not guilty plea to the 13 theft and ethics charges he faces.
The judge set his trial date for early March. WAAY 31 was there during the entire proceeding, which was short.
Blakely was inside the courtroom, however, we didn't see him enter or exit the courthouse. We don't know how he left.
The sheriff only spoke during the hearing, and when he approached the bench he loudly exclaimed he wanted to enter a not guilty plea on all counts.
The Attorney General's office accuses him of stealing money from his campaign accounts, and from his office. He's also accused of using his position as Sheriff to get interest-free loans. Blakely's attorney, Robert Tuten, told the judge he's working on settling the case before trial, but he told us a settlement is not likely.
"I don't think there is any common ground between the two sides. That either side is wiling to agree to that can get this resolved, so at this time i think a settlement is highly unlikely, but the judge wants us to continue talking, and we will certainly do that," Tuten said.
Most recently, Blakely's attorney tried to get the charges thrown out, claiming the current ethics laws are unconstitutionally vague. The judge denied that motion.
Blakely's attorney said his client is doing well, but he is aggravated by the charges he faces.
The Assistant Attorney General who was there on behalf of the state told us she had no comment.