PHOENIX - Jodi Arias’ attorneys do not want you know where the taxpayer money spent on her defense is going.
Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott filed paperwork asking a judge to “seal any and all billing records submitted by any member of Ms. Arias’ defense team…”
Last week, ABC15 first reported taxpayers could end up spending more than $1 million to defend Arias in her lengthy murder trial.
Cari Gerchick, Maricopa County Communications Director, told ABC15 the total amount spent on her defense team has been roughly $838,000 and continues to climb.
The cost only pertains to money spent on Arias’ attorneys and does not include jail or court costs.
But Arias’ attorneys want a judge to issue a protective order guarding the detailed costs of Arias’ defense.
Arias’ lawyers argue releasing the information could impact attorney-client privilege and Arias’ right to a fair trial.
According to the paperwork , “If the State is allowed to view or access these records the State may be able to determine what witnesses, both expert and civilian, the defense has interviewed and not listed as witnesses in any phase of the trial as they attempt to develop a viable defense.”
They go on to argue the information would provide “a window into the thought and process of the defense team.”
Arias’ attorneys added “… the insight that would be given to the State in this capital case if they had access to these records would provide insight into the thoughts and/or actions of defense counsel as it relates not only to the determination of Ms. Arias’ guilt to the charged offense, but, should the case proceed to a penalty phase, this insight would carry over to the issue of whether or not the State can prove its aggravating factor which makes Ms. Arias eligible for the death penalty, and potentially whether or not Ms. Arias is sentenced to death or life in prison.”
The filing also said releasing the information to the media “might very well diminish Ms. Arias’ right to a fair trial.”
Two experts hired by the defense, and paid by the county, revealed in court they charge hundreds of dollars per hour.
Psychologist Richard Samuels, who testified he diagnosed Arias with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, said he makes $250 per hour.
Domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette revealed she is paid $250 per hour for research and $300 per hour for testifying.
Legal analysts predict the capital murder trial will last several more weeks.
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