A motion to move an arraignment date for Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has been ordered by the presiding judge in the case, records show.
Retired judge Pride Tompkins, who was appointed to hear the case by the Alabama Supreme Court, moved Blakely's arraignment date to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. The arraignment was previously scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26.
Attorneys Robert Tuten and Marcus Helstowski, two of Blakely's defense attorneys, submitted a motion to continue Thursday. It asked Tompkins to move the arraignment, citing a scheduling conflict with a capital murder case in Madison County. Tompkins issued his order Friday.
An arraignment is traditionally one of the first steps in the legal process. It is when a defendant is informed of the charges against him and when the defendant issues a plea of guilty or not guilty. Blakely attorney Mark McDaniel previously said his client would plead not guilty to the 12 felony charges and one misdemeanor charge he faces as part of an indictment issued last month.
The case against Blakely, which includes allegations of theft and ethics violations, will be presented by the Alabama Attorney General's Office, which was assisted in its investigation by the FBI.
Tompkins was appointed to hear the case by Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker after Limestone County's judges recused themselves from the case.