The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

July 23, 2012

Murder trial could be costly


County officials must decide what course of action to take concerning the capital murder trial of one of the inmates charged with the death of a Texas Department of Criminal Justice correctional officer during an escape in 2007.
District Judge Ken Keeling talked to the Walker County Commissioners Court on Monday about how much it will cost to seek the death penalty for John Ray Falk Jr., who along with Jerry Duane Martin, broke out of the Wynne Unit in 2007 and allegedly killed 59-year-old Susan Canfield in the process. Martin, who was driving the vehicle that struck the horse Canfield was riding while attempting to stop the two escapees, was tried and sentenced to death in 2009 for his role.
Keeling said that it would likely cost the county around $500,000 for the trial, which includes attorney fees and other expenses, if the death penalty is sought.
“I plan to try this case in the fall and I just wanted to give you a heads up on how much it is going to cost since I know you are working on the budget right now,” Keeling told the court. “I was hoping that a plea bargain could be reached, but it does not look like that is going to happen.”
Martin’s capital murder trial cost more than $400,000, but the state of Texas reimbursed Walker County for everything except travel expenses. The state has dealt with budget issues since that 2009 trial and is now only offering $50,000, on a first-come-first-serve basis, to help with capital murder trials.
That means that Walker County could be struck with the rest of the bill.
“If we proceed with the death penalty, Walker County will have to pay around $500,000 out of pocket for this trial,” Keeling said. “... I think you need to prepare for this. Last time the state paid it back. This time they probably will not.”

Text Only
Local News

House Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide