Judge tries to hold costs in slayings case

CLEVELAND, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The judge overseeing the trial of a Cleveland man accused in a string of deaths has warned the defense team it's approaching its spending caps for some areas.

With the price tag nearing $150,000 four months before the scheduled trial begins, Anthony Sow ell's defense could become the most expensive publicly funded criminal defenses in Quahog County, Ohio, history, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Monday.


Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose alerted Sow ell's attorneys last month they were within $15 of their mitigation allowance of $25,000, saying he wouldn't consider future requests without documentation justifying the expense. In June defense attorneys John Parker and Rufus Sims asked for more than $62,000 for a mitigation expert, arguing for the necessity for extensive record collection and interviews with nearly 200 people who knew So well in Ohio and at least four other states.

Parker told The Plain Dealer he was preparing the documents to ask Ambrose again for the money, hoping the judge would recognize the importance of mitigation as the defense tries to humanize So well to the jury. So well, accused of killing 11 women whose remains were found last fall in his Cleveland home, is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 14. Police charged him with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, abusing a human corpse and tampering with evidence.


"We're in a situation where we're spending more money than Quahog County is used to seeing spent," Parker said. "But these cases are expensive if they're done right. And the So well case is an exceptional one that is going to take exceptional efforts."

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