Breckenridge Texan

County to apply for annual indigent legal defense grant; burn ban continues

October 11
09:46 2017

During their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10, county commissioners approved a resolution for Stephens County to continue participating in the indigent defense grant program for 2018.

The grant is provided by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission and goes toward covering a portion of the costs of providing legal defense services for indigent defendants in the county.

To receive the grant, which this year is $14,907, the county sends a report of the legal services they provided during the past year and their costs, along with the grant application.

According to information provided by Stephens County Treasurer Sharon Trigg, the county had 271 indigent cases from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017. During that time, there were 11 juvenile cases, 165 adult non-capital felony cases, 93 adult misdemeanor cases, and two adult misdemeanor appeal cases.

In those cases, the county paid $94,945.83 in attorney fees, $140 on investigations, $1,400 on expert witnesses and $10,238 on other litigations expenses, such as trial transcripts. Trigg said the amount of the fees approved for each case is set by the judge overseeing the case.

Commissioners also voted to continue the county-wide burn ban. Stephens County Judge Gary Fuller said burning will be allowed if it rains and the person wanting to burn brush calls the fire department in advance for approval.

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

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