Isom death-penalty trial defense costs nearly $700K

2013-09-16T17:55:00Z 2013-09-16T21:26:07Z Isom death-penalty trial defense costs nearly $700KSusan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
September 16, 2013 5:55 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | The Indiana Public Defender Commission has reported total defense costs in the Kevin Isom death penalty case at nearly $700,000 as of Monday with half that amount returned to Lake County.

The state office reimburses defense costs in death penalty trials at the rate of 50 percent versus a rate of 40 percent for noncapital cases.

Isom, 47, was convicted and sentenced to death in February for the 2007 slayings of his wife and two stepchildren at the family's Miller Beach home.

Costs in the five-week trial far surpassed those of the county's last death penalty case, that of Darryl Jeter, found guilty in 2006 in the shooting of Indiana State Trooper Scott Patrick in 2003.  

Final defense costs for Jeter, who ultimately was sentenced to life without parole, were reported as $411,907 with the county reimbursed $205,954.

In contrast to Jeter's trial, the Isom trial was hampered by numerous delays, a longer trial and two rounds of jury selection.

As of Monday, the state office reported total defense costs in the Isom trial at $693,188 with the county reimbursed a total of $346,594.

Nonattorney costs totaled $299,711 for experts, investigators, mitigation specialists, videographer, transcripts, travel, telephone and copying. Of that total, the county recouped $149,855.

The latest figures do not include the cost of Isom's appeal.

In addition to defense costs, county officials have reported the cost of jury payroll, lodging and food at some $200,000.

Fearing capital costs might top $500,000, the Lake County Council approved additional funds, capping costs at $750,000.

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