Burleson County Murders Cost Taxpayers

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It's been over a decade since lawmen in Burleson County have seen a streak like this.

There have been five murders in the last 12 months.

It's not only putting a strain on their budget but on the county staff as well.

Every homicide is different, but one thing remains the same murder investigations are costly.

"This is five that we've had and it seems like the murders in this county have picked up," says Sheriff Gene Barber.

Within the last twelve months Burleson County has had five murders, the fifth just last week.

And Sheriff Gene Barber says it takes every available deputy to investigate.

"We bring everybody that's connected with the sheriff's department. In fact, it takes anywhere from six to eight people to start with," says Barber.

And assistance from DPS is curbing costs of forensic and laboratory work but after the investigation ends, the trials begin.

"This is going to cost the county quite a bit," says Barber.

County Judge Mike Sutherland says a capital murder trial may cost Burleson County tax payers more than a quarter of a million dollars, and even more if there is a change of venue. Although contingency funds are being used the judge says the murders are still putting a strain on the budget.

But the sooner the suspect is caught, the less money is spent.

Barber says family violence, drugs, alcohol and money have all been factors in the murders and because Burleson County is still a great place to live, catching the criminals who committed the crime is worth every penny.

Several cases are still pending.

The June murder of Burleson County resident Velma Jones will go to trial in March.