Monday, November 12, 2007

Boot-camp trial costs so far: $196,000

The Associated Press

November 12, 2007


The bills are still coming in, but more than $196,000 has already been spent for the investigation and expert witnesses in the trial of eight former boot-camp employees in the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson.

Panama City Assistant State Attorney Joe Grammer said he was not used to seeing such large bills from witnesses. The prosecution total of $156,508 does not include salaries or attorney's fees.

Thomas Andrew, a state forensic expert, billed the state $21,000 for 50 hours of record review, plus deposition and trial testimony. Another bill came from Tampa Medical Examiner Vernard Adams, who charged $12,600 for his participation in the boot-camp trial.

Deputy Public Defender Walter Smith said the defense spent about $40,000 on its case. He said his office billed the state about $26,000, including $19,000 for sickle-cell trait expert Dr. E. Randy Eichner. Private attorney Bob Sombathy, who was appointed to the case and therefore paid by the state, billed another $6,000 for Eichner's trial testimony.

The private defense lawyers paid out $5,000 for a use-of-force expert who gave a deposition but did not testify at trial, plus about $1,000 each for copies of the discovery and other items.

Anderson died Jan. 6, 2006, after collapsing during his first day at the now-closed Panama City boot camp, a military-style juvenile-detention center. Jurors acquitted the drill instructors and a camp nurse of any wrongdoing.

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