Schutze and Merten are off in darkened corners finishing their City Hall corruption trial wrap-up (as in, What does it all mean?), so I'll refer you to KXAS-Channel 5's piece concerning the bill for the trial, which, the NBC affiliate says adds up to a whopping $750,000. That's from the defense attorneys, mind you, all of whom were court-appointed, save for Rickey Robertson's, which came out of his own pocket.
But I just spoke to Victor Vital, Sheila Farrington Hill's attorney, who says that figure's actually a little low, since it doesn't take into account the most current invoices -- not to mention whatever costs will be accrued during the appeals process following Monday's convictions.
"Ray [Jackson, Don Hill's attorney] and I, our budgets alone approached $700,000, and I think when you add D'Angelo [Lee]'s it's closer to a million," says the former Harris County prosecutor. "And Ted Steinke [Darren Reagan's attorney] is court-appointed. So if you're trying to get an accurate picture of how much public funds were used for court-appointed council, you'll need to wait a month. But based on court budgets we have to submit, the cost will exceed $750,000." Again, that's just for the initial three-month-long trial.
As for how much it cost to prosecute the case, well, Kathy Colvin in the U.S. Attorney's Office tells Unfair Park, "We don't track expenditures by cases."
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Incidentally, the next hearing is scheduled for November 13, when the judge will hear motions to overturn or set aside the guilty verdicts. Motions will be filed later this month.