Funds would cover experts, staffing expenses
DENVER, Colo. -- Kobe Bryant's prosecutor has asked for nearly $200,000 next year to handle expenses in the sexual assault case, including hiring strangulation specialists and other expert witnesses.
Commissioners of Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek and Lake counties have to approve their 2004 budgets by early December. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, whose base request to the counties was $1.8 million, told officials Thursday the Bryant case will require more money.
"We've never done a trial like this," he said. "No one in the state has ever done a trial like this."
He said he expects to spend $45,500 on expert witnesses, including the specialists on strangulation, sexual assault and trauma, and $143,000 for extra staffing.
"It is bargain basement," Hurlbert said during the annual budget meeting.
Summit County Commission Chairman Gary Lindstrom said Friday he expected the counties to approve the request along with Eagle, Clear Creek and Lake counties.
"We were not surprised at the amount of the request and feel it was probably what we expected," Lindstrom said. "We didn't feel as though it was excessive."
District attorneys in Colorado receive state funding, but each county in their judicial districts is also required to contribute. In Hurlbert's district, the counties' contributions are divided under a formula that takes into account county population, sales tax revenue and other factors.
Eagle County commissioners earlier this year approved an additional $105,000 for Hurlbert's office for expenses in the Bryant case that could come up this fiscal year, which ends Dec. 31. Hurlbert so far has spent $30,000 of that amount, county assistant administrator Becky Gadell said.
Bryant, 25, is charged with felony sexual assault in Eagle County, where he is accused of raping a 19-year-old employee at the resort where was staying June 30. Free on $25,000 bond, the NBA star is scheduled to appear Thursday for a preliminary hearing.
Hurlbert said additional staffing costs include $75,175 for Deputy District Attorney Ingrid Bakke on loan from Boulder County, $63,425 for an investigator, $34,050 for a legal assistant and $76,000 to be split between spokeswoman Krista Flannigan and a victim-services consultant.
Money for expert witnesses included $20,000 for a jury consultant, $2,500 for a strangulation expert and $3,000 for a rape-trauma expert, according to figures obtained by The Denver Post.
Officials of the four counties agreed Thursday to split the additional costs according to the traditional formula, Lindstrom said.
"The district attorney pointed out that it's going to be less expensive than what he would normally incur in a capital murder case and we have capital murder cases on a fairly regular basis," Lindstrom said. "But it's probably more expensive than a normal sexual assault case."
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Source: 'Looks like' Phil will take Knicks' job
- Cavs' Bennett out 3 weeks with knee injury
- Injury won't sideline Warriors' Curry vs. Mavs
- Magic rookie Oladipo to return against Bucks
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- NBA Home
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Bobcats
- Miami Heat
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Heat Index