Seeking trial delay, sheriff makes false COVID-19 claim

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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (Photo: CDC)

ATHENS, AL (AP) — Lawyers for an Alabama sheriff seeking a delay in his theft trial falsely claimed the officer was being tested for the illness caused by a new coronavirus.

With Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely set to go on trial Monday on felony charges, his attorneys told a judge he was hospitalized and being tested for the COVID-19 disease caused by the new virus.

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But testimony showed that wasn’t true, and the judge harshly criticized the defense for making claims that could cause a panic.

A defense lawyer says he was simply mistaken. Records indicate Blakely was hospitalized with another respiratory problem.