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Gabriel Hall Trial Comes at High Cost to Brazos County

(KBTX)
Published: Oct. 8, 2015 at 5:02 PM CDT
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Final figures aren't in just yet but the Gabriel Hall case proved very costly to try.

News 3 looks at why the capital murder trial appears to be going down as the most expensive in county history.

Gabriel Hall's crime took a toll on the College Station community, friends of the murder victim Edwin Sharr, and his wife Linda, who survived.

But it also hit Brazos County's coffers.

"The case is unusual for cost," said Marc Hamlin, who is the Brazos County District Clerk. He tells us seating a jury set the county back more than $18,430.

"I've been quoted in the past is it being close to a $2 million mark and my calculations start from the very first moment that 911 was notified that something had happened after that with College Station Police, College Station investigators, a DPS helicopter, the amount of time of all these different people going into investigation and trying to ascertain what has happened," he explained.

County Auditor Katie Conner tells us this has been the most expensive trial in her ten years working here. Prior to Gabriel Hall's case the Stanley Robertson Capital Murder Trial had been the most expensive. She says it cost around $515,000.

While the defense spent $852,000, Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons says his office spent a fraction of that and will barely top $80,000. He doesn't think staff time should be included in cost estimates.

Some of the case's expenses included delays in DNA testing from Austin and a trip to interview witnesses from Hall's native country of the Philippines.

Others close to the case believe total costs are closer to under $1.5 million.

The defense team's $852,000 expenses does not include their fees, that will be paid by the state and isn't known just yet.

Marc Hamlin added that the appeals process could come close to an additional $200,000.