As of Monday, McLennan County officials had already paid more than $1 million in the aftermath of the Twin Peaks shootout.
Last Friday, McLennan County 54th District Judge Matt Johnson declared a mistrial in the trial of Christopher Jacob Carrizal. He was the first biker to go on trial for the deadly 2015 incident that left nine bikers dead and dozens injured.
County Auditor Stan Chambers stated that included overtime, outside care of inmates, autopsies and indigent defense. Other items listed are professional services, meals and court reporters.
County costs in aftermath of Twin Peaks shootout
$ 493, 628.52
Outside Care of Prisoners
Other (Professional Services/Meals/ Court Reporters/ etc.)
$ 1,000, 827.03
*Source: County Auditor's Office
"About a third to 40 percent of that was back at the incident and the remainder has been spent leading up to this trial. Not all that $1 million is directly related to this trial. There are other attorneys, appointed, to defend people that can't afford a defense,” McLennan County District Clerk Jon Gimble said.
The price tag does not include part of the costs associated with courthouse security and jury compensation for the 21 days of Carrizal’s trial. Gimble estimates both of those items to cost up to $100,000. He said the payment for prospective jurors, jurors and alternates amounted to a little over $27,000. The state is expected to reimburse the county for nearly $23,000, according to Gimble.
McLennan County Commissioner for Precinct 4 Ben Perry said he was not shocked at the expenses.
"I don't think we can say we are surprised. Anytime you have an event of this caliber, and this size, you can expect a price tag that is going to the equivalent of the event,” Perry said.
However, he doesn’t estimate a tax hike for citizens of McLennan County in the upcoming year.
"I see no reason that we would have to consider a tax increase, based on the additional trials. McLennan County is positioned somewhat in a positive manner to handle these types of events at this time."
The county received a $268,433.98 grant from the Office of the Governor for some of the initial costs of the incident. Perry added McLennan County has more than $30 million in a rainy day fund.
"With us not knowing what the future might hold with these trials, all we can speak to, we are comfortable with our fund balance, our rainy day fund like you put it, to cover our expenses,” Perry said.
A pretrial hearing in Carrizal’s case has been scheduled for March of 2018. He was indicted for directing activities of a criminal street gang and engaging in organized criminal activity.
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