Court documents filed Friday in the state's case against Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely indicate wire transfers were sent to two casinos for gambling activities.
In referencing counts 8 and 11 of a 13-count indictment against Blakely, the Alabama Attorney General's Office alleges Blakely received illegal wire transfers, details of which were found in a computer folder labeled “Western Union.” The filing then makes mention of “gambling records” in a folder marked “Beau Rivage,” which is a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The filing also references another folder and corresponding gambling activities marked “Palace Station,” which is a casino in Las Vegas.
The state provided Blakely's attorneys with two thumb drives containing the discovery documents.
“The State suggests that defense counsel start there in reviewing the discovery related to these counts,” the state response reads. “Defense counsel can then confer with their client about why he received the transfers, who he received them from, and where he was when he received them.”
Count 11 of the indictment claims an employee of Blakely's wired him $1,000 on Aug. 17, 2016.
The state filed its response as an answer to a motion filed by Blakely's defense team that the AG's office had been haphazard with its approach to discovery, which it referred to as a “data dump.”
The state provided Blakely's attorneys with two thumb drives — one containing a “voluminous number of emails” the state indicated it “probably won't use,” and another containing 64,418 documents.
The state's response claims there are actually only 62,028 pages of discovery.
The defense motion says the documents on the second thumb drive would fill 15 banker boxes and take more than 100 hours to read just one time. It goes on to say while the defense “appreciates transparency,” it requests the judge order the state to indicate which documents relate to each count of the indictment and which documents might be used as court exhibits at trial.
The state described the 62,028 pages of discovery documents as “small, organized, searchable, and paired with the detailed indictment, easily reviewable.”
“The State did not 'dump' irrelevant documents on the Defendant,” the state's response reads.
The AG's office claims the case against former House Speaker Mike Hubbard involved 2.5 million pages of discovery. The state's recent prosecution of Sherry Lewis, the former chair of the Birmingham Water Works, involved tens of millions of pages.
“Given the size discrepancies, combined with the fact that the State largely produced what Blakely already had, Blakely has no legitimate grievance here,” the response reads.
The state claims Blakely had access to 85% of the records produced as part of discovery.
In a separate response filed by the state, the AG's office said it opposed a motion filed by Blakely's attorneys asking the court to dismiss a theft by deception charge, which is Count 9 of the indictment. Blakely's attorneys asked the count to be dismissed because the statute of limitation on the charge would no longer apply.
The state said because the count alleges the “conversion of public revenue,” specifically an alleged theft from the Sheriff's Office pistol permit fund, it would have a six-year limitation period.
The name of the pistol permit account is the Limestone County Law Enforcement Fund, and it is controlled by the Sheriff's Office, the response reads. The response said the fund “plainly qualifies as 'county revenue' pursuant to Alabama Code … .”
The state response explains the statute authorizing the fund states “all fees collected shall be used 'exclusively for law enforcement purposes in the public's interest and in the discharge of the sheriff's office as the sheriff sees fit.'”
Blakely is set to be arraigned 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Circuit Judge Robert Baker's third-floor courtroom. The case is being heard by appointed Judge Pride Tompkins.