County paid nearly $600,000 for expert witnesses at trial
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Expert witnesses cost a northern Idaho county nearly $600,000 during the trial of the man convicted of killing a Coeur d’Alene police officer.
Kootenai County officials said there are more invoices that have not yet been tallied from the trial of Jonathan D. Renfro, so the cost could rise by thousands of dollars, Coeur d’Alene Press reported .
A judge imposed the death penalty on 29-year-old Renfro after he was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier this month for killing police Sgt. Greg Moore two years ago.
Public defenders spent nearly $311,000 to pay seven experts to research and testify while prosecutors spent nearly $270,000 for three experts, according to court documents.
The county paid for the defense’s expert witnesses, but it will be reimbursed by the Capital Crimes Defense Fund in this case. The self-insured fund covers member counties in cases involving the death penalty.
In the final phases of Renfro’s trial, the defense called upon experts in an attempt to connect Renfro’s actions to untreated medical conditions. The highest paid defense expert was a forensic psychologist, who was paid $94,494 for his testimony that Renfro was unlikely to harm other people if he was incarcerated for life.
Prosecutors countered the defense’s testimonies with experts of their own. Their highest paid expert was a forensic psychiatrist, who was given $210,000 for his work in debunking the defense’s claims on Renfro’s behavior.
Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, http://www.cdapress.com