Judge details county’s capital murder expenses

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By Donnita Fisher

Managing Editor


Although the county budgeted more than $450,000 to try three capital murder cases in 2014 and 2015, to date less than $112,000 has been actually spent, 294th District Court Judge Teresa Drum told Van Zandt County Commissioners last week.

Drum provided an update on the county’s capital murder budget during the commissioners court meeting June 9.

Commissioners originally budgeted $457,316.10 for three capital murder cases – Danny Greenhow, Larry Maples and Michael Moore, Drum said. “Expenses were budgeted for the DA’s office, the Sheriff’s office, indigent defense expenses, as well as jury and district clerk expenses,” she said.

The county also anticipated receiving $150,000 in grants from the state if the cases were tried as death penalty cases. “None of these tried as death penalty cases,” Drum said, “so we were not eligible for the grants.”

Expenses for the three cases through June 8 total $111,469,63 and there is still about $2,000 outstanding, she said.

Greenhow pled guilty and was sentenced to life without parole on April 3, 2014. “Expenses for this case have ended,” Drum said.

Maples was tried and convicted of capital murder by a jury in November 2014. “He was automatically sentenced to life without parole,” Drum said. “He has appealed his jury verdict and it is currently on appeal. We will have continuing costs associated with this case.”

Last month, a jury tried and convicted Moore of capital murder and he, too, received an automatic life without parole sentence. And he, too, is appealing his jury verdict. “And we will have future costs associated with this case,” Drum said.


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