What the John Young Trial Really Cost Tom Green County Taxpayers
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The three and a half week forgery, theft and money laundering trial of John Stacy Young was costly.
Five employees with the Texas Attorney General’s office spent the better part of a month in San Angelo as special prosecutors for the trial. Visiting Judge Brock Jones from Crockett County presided, and several expert witnesses testified before the jury of 12 area residents and two alternates.
Young was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Before the Young trial, San Angelo bail bondsman Ray Zapata stood trial as well with the same visiting prosecution team from the Texas Office of Attorney General and the same visiting judge and many of the same expert witnesses like Texas Ranger Nick Hanna, but at what cost?
Not really that much according to information from the Tom Green County Treasurer’s office.
County Treasurer Dianna Spieker said Tuesday that the State of Texas paid for the special prosecutors and the visiting judge, so county taxpayers were relieved of those costs. And the expert witnesses who are employed by other state agencies like the Department of Public Safety Forensic Crime Lab and the Texas Rangers are paid by the State of Texas as well.
Spieker said Tom Green County taxpayers pay for the everyday operation of the courthouse. Additional expenses would include overtime for bailiffs, court reporters and courthouse security during the trial.
Tom Green County has about 12 capital murder trials pending and local taxpayers will have to pay for those trials.
As we reported earlier, calculating the cost of a capital murder trial is difficult because of wide ranging expenses including expert witnesses, court appointed attorneys and other additional expenses dealing with security, witnesses, and evidence. Estimates range from $300,000 to $3 million per trial.