County Seeks $1.2 Million Help from the Governor for Capital Murder Cases
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday applied for a County Essential Services grant from the Governor’s office to help offset millions of dollars in prosecution expenses for capital murder cases.
County Judge Steve Floyd said the county currently has identified, “$1,225,750.00 in qualified expenses and has applied for the essential services grant after the Governor’s office approached the county.” Floyd testified recently before a House committee about the skyrocketing expense of capital murder cases. “That only covers just a few of the capital cases that are already in progress.”
The county has received a $50,000 grant to offset a portion of the cost of indigent defense in capital murder cases. “We appreciated the $50,000. It is an extremely small percentage of what the overall cost will be. “
There are currently 15 defendants facing capital murder charges in Tom Green County. As LIVE! reported earlier, capital murder cases vary widely in costs with estimates ranging from $300,000 to $3 million per defendant. “Capital murder case expenses are what’s driving our budget this year.” Floyd said.
Commissioners also renewed an interlocal agreement between Lubbock County and Tom Green County for participation in the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases Program. The two year agreement costs $32,293 per year and provides attorneys for indigent defendants.
The Commissioner’s Court will adopt a budget and set the tax rate at the regular meeting Tuesday August 29.
In other business, Commissioners approved allowing County employees to receive administrative leave for donating to the United Way over the objections of Mary Casper. Casper said, “That sounds like pay for play to me.” Casper said she is adamantly opposed to employees getting administrative leave for donating to the charity.
Floyd said that the County years ago chose to support the United Way and the leave policy is one way employees are incentivied to participate.