Camm trial straining Floyd Co.'s budget - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Camm trial straining Floyd Co.'s budget

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Justice is going to come with a big price tag for taxpayers in Floyd County.

The county has to pay expenses for the prosecution, the public defender, the judge, and the jury in the David Camm trial.  It adds up to more than $1 million and counting.

Camm's third murder trial was moved to Boone Co. to try and find an impartial jury. But Floyd Co., where the crime occurred, is still footing most of the bills.

County Auditor Scott Clark showed WDRB News a spreadsheet -- $1.1 million, so far. And last week, the Floyd Co. Council approved another $650,000.

Where is that going to come from?  "Right now, it comes from the general fund. However, we are looking at other options," said Clark.

County officials say they will likely either borrow the money or move it from other accounts.  "We have looked under every rock and we've been very conservative, very scrupulous about finding the money," said Floyd Co. Council President John Schellenberger.

The county has almost no say in controlling trial expenses, and no choice but to pay them.

Floyd Co. residents WDRB's Lawrence Smith talked to are not convinced it's money well spent.

"Seems like a lot of money for a trial," said one man.

"Floyd County itself is kind of going under the weather here because we've got so much money going out the door, and we don't see any benefit from it," said another.

It's not just the Camm trial that is straining Floyd Co.'s $12 million budget.  The trial of alleged serial killer William Clyde Gibson is looming this fall. It's expected to cost some $400,000. That includes the cost of importing a jury from another county.

County officials say the cost of these trials will cause neither an increase in taxes nor a decrease in services for Floyd Co. residents. At least, they hope not.

"That's about the last thing you ever want to do is cut services, and I don't think we're at that stage to where we have to start reviewing whether to cut services or not," said Clark.

"It's a challenge, but that's how our system works," said Schellenberger.

The county is receiving reimbursements from the state for part of the expense of the public defender. but not nearly enough to cover all the cost of justice.

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