January 23, 2007

WA: "ultraconservative" request for extra $

From the P-I:

Grant County seeks state aid for aggravated murder prosecution

Beset by nine trial delays, an escape attempt, frequent toilet clogging and reportedly the hurling of urine at jailers, Grant County officials are asking for state help in an aggravated murder case.

The county's request for $101,000, filed last Wednesday with the state's Office of Public Defense, covers only the "tip of the iceberg" in the cost of prosecuting Dustin Gene Abrams, 23 of Moses Lake, charged with killing Michael B. Mallon, 79, said June Strickler, administrative services coordinator in the county commissioners' office. "What we have submitted is not a very realistic number," Strickler said. "It's low and it's ultraconservative..."

Alan White, supervisor for the county's public defenders last year, said three lawyers worked on Abrams' murder case in 2006, each limited to 150 case credits a year. One defender who received $100,000 from the county in 2006 devoted 43.5 credits - more than one-fourth of his quota - to Abrams, White said...