Witness testifies he loaned Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely $50,000 without ever meeting him

The first full week of witness testimonies wrapped up on Friday in the criminal trial of long-time Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

Posted: Jul 23, 2021 6:58 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2021 7:10 PM

The first full week of witness testimonies wrapped up on Friday in the criminal trial of long-time Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

One of the most notable testimonies was Tong Shen Chiou, a retired pharmacist from the area. He had a very colorful testimony that made the whole courtroom laugh at times.

Limestone Co. Sheriff Mike Blakely

Chiou relates to the case because he loaned his business partner at the time, Brad Pullum, $50,000 to give to Blakely.

Pullum described it as a real estate deal, because he was trying to make sure Blakely's parent's house sold.

Chiou had never met Blakely, and didn't even know he was the sheriff.

About two weeks later, he did met the sheriff in person to get a pistol permit. Pullum introduced Chiou to Blakely, who not only gave him the permit, but also gave him an honorary deputy pistol permit.

Chew said he had not met the sheriff before writing the $50,000 check, and therefore the honorary deputy permit had nothing to do with the loan since it happened after the fact.

Chiou said he's just a generous person, and that's why he agreed to loan $50,000 to a man he had never met.

He even brought an envelope with him of other checks he's holding for people like "IOUs."

He asked if the judge or the defense wanted to look at them as evidence to show how kind of a person he is. This had the entire courtroom erupt in laughter, but the judge denied his offer and told him to keep his envelope.

The trial will resume 1 p.m. Monday as the state brings more witnesses to the stand.

There's a late start to give the prosecution more time to go back to their office and comb through evidence that came up in previous witness testimony.

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