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Costs adding up for Stenson retrial

September 5th, 2013 - 5:53am

(Port Angeles) -- Jury selection is set to begin in a couple of weeks for the retrial of a former Sequim man accused of killing two people in 1993.

The re-trial of Darold Stenson is expected to cost Clallam County some big bucks.

This week, county commissioners approved another item related to the case: $22,500 for a part-time criminal analyst to assist with the trial.

"Superior Court has already to little over $500,000 for indigent defense on the Stenson trial. The sheriff's 22-thousand that you have approved here this week, the proseuctor is talking about another 50-thousand and the trial hasn't even started yet. I think by the time it's done, the costs could easily be 750 to 800-thousand dollars," said county administrator Jim Jones.

Jones said it will also have an impact on the budget moving forward.

"We reserved money out of our general fund reserves for $1 million. That assumed we might have five murder trials in one year. This is just one and it is real significant so it will have long-term effects on the budget," said Jones.

Stenson is set to go on trial later this month in Kitsap County for the killing of his wife and business partner at an exotic bird farm near Sequim in 1993. He was earlier convicted and sent to death row. But the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial.

Jury selection is set to begin September 16th in Port Orchard.

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