Trial of Limestone County sheriff delayed due to hospitalization

The trial for Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely is scheduled to start on March 16.

Posted: Mar 7, 2020 11:51 AM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 9:33 AM

A Limestone County judge allowed the trial of the Limestone County sheriff to be delayed a week while the sheriff receives medical treatment. 

During a Saturday morning court session, Dr. Maria Acelajado Onoya said Sheriff Mike Blakely was admitted to Athens-Limestone Hospital Friday morning after presenting with shortness of breath. 

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely

Despite Blakely's attorneys stating on Friday that he was being tested for the novel coronavirus that results in Covid-19, Dr. Onoya said on Saturday that wasn't true. 

She said because he didn't have fever, that eliminated the possibility that he had that strain of coronavirus. He was tested for other, more common strain, but all of those tests came back negative. The same was true when the hospital performed a respiratory panel.

Blakely's doctor determined that he had acute respiratory failure and required an oxygen supplement.

Because of the diagnosis and his ongoing observation, the judge decided that the jury would be empanelled on Monday, March 9, but that the trial wouldn't begin until Monday, March 16. 

The judge also scolded defense attorneys for referencing the novel coronavirus, describing using that kind of language as irresponsible. 

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