Courthouse shooter trial costs taxpayers over $300,000

12News has obtained a report showing how much it cost Jefferson County to conduct the Courthouse shooter trial.

Bartholomew Granger was sentenced to death last month for the March 2012 shooting that killed 79- year- old Minnie Sebolt of Deweyville.

The trial had to be relocated to Galveston because of state law.

Here's what was released:

Defense attorneys:                                    $167, 349

Defense expert witnesses:                        $128, 620

Estimated remaining:                                 $4,031

Defense totals:                                          $300,000


Per diem-Prosecution/Witnesses/Judicial:  $31,414

Hotel:                                                         $42,976

Equipment:                                                $1,170

Estimated remaining:                                $4,440

Relocation:                                                $80,000

Total:                                                        $380,000

The county says $380,000 is a below average price for relocating a capital murder trial.

"To keep it under $400,000 is pretty amazing," says Judge Bob Wortham.

Judge Wortham was the presiding judge who was provided extra security in the high profile crime case.

"They had a security officer that stayed next door to me the whole time," he said.

But, towards the end of the trial, Judge Wortham looked for his own cost saving measures.

"I did stay at my beach house and would drive back and forth which didn't cost the county anything," he says.

County auditor, Patrick Swain, says $380,000 is low for a 6-week trial.

"They did a good job of getting in there, getting the jury picked and then getting on with the trial," says Swain.

But, Swain says the costs will continue to rise. The county will now dish out money for Granger's appeal process.

"I've heard the estimates go at least $100,000 on the appeals," he says.

As for the trial, Galveston County provided assistance paying for it's own added security.

"It's just amazing how good and kind they were to us," says Judge Wortham.

The county will be applying for a grant through the states Indigent Defense Fund.

County leaders hope it covers most of the cost of the trial.


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