GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Whoever killed Katelyn Wolfe could pay dearly, but so will the taxpayers of Greene County if the two defendants are tried as candidates for the death penalty.
Terry Modesitt, prosecutor in Vigo County, said he's like most prosecutors in the state of Indiana: he's never tried a capital case during his tenure.
One of the reasons, he said, has to be the exorbitant costs associated with trying a capital case. And this does not include the cost of keeping a defendant alive on death row; this is solely the costs associated with trial time.
"Two defense attorneys assigned to each case; if it goes to trial, the jury has to be sequestered under Indiana law," Modesitt shared, adding that Indiana law requires the defense in a case to seek out, and pay, expert witnesses – not to mention independent investigators to counter any evidence the State has.
"I know up in Parke County, they ended up -- the last death penalty case they had up there, they had to actually request that a tax be issued just to fund the expense of the case," said Modesitt.
He admitted that, right or not, a county's finances can, and often does, play a part in a prosecutor's decision to seek the death penalty.
"The reality of the situation is that cost has to be considered somewhat but I don't think that should be the driving factor in the decision."
Right on cue, Thursday’s early winter storm dumped snow and ice on the Wabash Valley but county highway crews were a step ahead of the weather’s arrival pre-treating the 897 miles of pavement in the county.
A fire has engulfed the First Prairie Creek Church in Vigo County.
A four car accident in eastern Vigo County leaves one person dead.
Workers at a new eatery in Terre Haute are preparing to open.
Otter Creek Township is on its way to getting a new fire station.
Knox County Commissioner Don Halter is ahead of the game when it comes to winter weather preparedness. But the man-power may have a hard time running full throttle. The Knox County highway budget took big cuts in 2013.