Judge: Public has right to know Arias defense costs

NEED TO KNOW
  • HLN is covering the Jodi Arias trial live gavel-to-gavel
  • Jodi Arias is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander; she claims self-defense
  • Defense says more details will bar Arias' right to a fair trial
Judge: Public has right to know Arias defense costs

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The public may soon learn more details about the cost of accused killer Jodi Arias' defense. Judge Joseph Welty ruled Thursday against Arias' attorneys' request to bar the release of more information about the cost of Arias' defense to the state of Arizona.

During a hearing Wednesday, David Bodney, an attorney representing multiple media outlets, argued that the public is entitled to know more about the costs of Arias' defense than just the general dollar amount that was released by the Maricopa County Office of Management & Budget.
 
HLN reported last week that Maricopa County calculates taxpayers have paid about $838,358.24 for her defense. The defense wants to bar the release of more details, saying it would jeopardize Arias' right to a fair trial.
 
Bodney said that, under Arizona's public records law, the media is entitled to more details, such as the categories of the expenditures. He also argued that information could be redacted to avoid violating any attorney-client privilege.
 
During the hearing Wednesday, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi argued that a general figure for the cost is already "out there" in the public domain, but on Thursday, Welty denied Nurmi's request for the other information Bodney was requesting to be closed to the public.
 
The staggering figure of $838,358.24 only pertains to attorney fees, experts and travel expenses. It does not include jail or court costs.
 
 
By the time Arias' trial is over, taxpayers may have spent more than $1 million for her defense, according to KNXV.
 
Arias is on trial for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Alexander's body was found in June 2008, and Arias initially told police she was not involved in his death. She later changed her story and told investigators that she witnessed two intruders break in and kill Alexander. Arias testified at trial to killing Alexander in self-defense.

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