With four months to go before his aggravated murder trial, the price tag on Cleveland serial-killing suspect Anthony Sowell’s defense is a shade under $150,000. Soon it will become the most expensive publicly funded criminal defense in Cuyahoga County history, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Among the highest expenditures is $24,985 for a mitigation expert — a social researcher whose job is to humanize Sowell, evoke jurors’ sympathy, and possibly save him from the death penalty. Sowell, 51, is accused of killing 11 women whose remains were found last fall at his house.

Judge Dick Ambrose alerted Sowell’s attorneys that they were within $15 of their mitigation allowance. He will not consider future requests without documentation justifying the expense. Although Ambrose’s cost-conscious stance seems valid in an era of tight budgets, legal experts warn that denying a defendant adequate counsel — especially in death penalty cases — could be grounds for an appeal. What constitutes an adequate defense is debatable. The American Bar Association, whose guidelines have been embraced in U.S. Supreme Court decisions as the standard, has called it improper for judges to set spending caps on mitigation services. In Cuyahoga County, however, the court caps initial mitigation costs at $3,000 — a sum that many defense attorneys say is unreasonably low for the work the job requires.

Link: http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/10/judge_reins_in_spending_on_ant.html

Filed under: ArticleCourtsPublic Defenders


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Florida Gators WR Chris Rainey arrested, faces stalking charges Chris Rainey is out of jail following the early morning arrest

September 17, 2010|By Rachel George, Orlando Sentinel
  • Alachua County Jail, Special to the Sentinel

GAINESVILLE — An earlier version of this article misstated the total number of players arrested during Urban Meyer’s tenure.

—Florida receiver Chris Rainey is facing a charge of aggravated stalking, a felony, following his arrest early Tuesday morning.

Gators offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday afternoon that, “Chris Rainey is not a part of our team right now.”

Rainey’s run-in with the law makes him 25th player to face charges or be arrested during coach Urban Meyer’s tenure. This is Meyer’s sixth season in Gainesville.

Rainey, a redshirt junior from Lakeland, was released from the Alachua County Jail on his own recognizance Tuesday afternoon and ordered to have no contact with the victim.


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The Crimes of Joran Van der Sloot Holloway Suspect Accused of Murder in Peru

On May 30, 2005, when Natalee Holloway disappeared after leaving a bar in Aruba, Joran Van der Sloot, then 17 years old, immerged as the chief suspect in the case. Although he was arrested twice in the case, no charges were ever filed against him in the Holloway case.Five years to the day later, Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, was killed in a hotel room rented to Van der Sloot, who was in Lima, Peru to participate in a poker tournament. After he fled to Chile, he was arrested and returned to Peru to face murder charges.



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Judge Dismisses Some Anna Nicole Charges

A judge who has been critical of the prosecution’s case from the beginning has dismissed some of the charges facing the defendants in the Anna Nicole Smith case. Judge Robert Perry dropped two charges of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit against Smith’s boyfriend-lawyer Howard Stern.He also dismissed a portion of a conspiracy count against Stern and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, but leaving the rest of the conspiracy charge for the jury to decide.

Judge Perry said there was not enough proof presented during the trial to show that the two men conspired with each other to obtain controlled drugs for Smith through fraud and deceit.

Although he dismissed some of the charges, the judge allowed 11 of the counts to stand against Stern, Kapoor and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich for conspiring to prescribe, administer and dispense a controlled substance to an addict.

Closing arguments are scheduled Monday in the Los Angeles courtroom.


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