Pike County Murder Case Prompts Legislators to Consider Prosecution Costs

Nov 19, 2018

Many Pike County residents were relieved when authorities arrested six people in connection with the killing of eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016. But the question now is how local officials will be able to afford to prosecute those cases. A bill is being proposed to help in that case.

Republican Rep. Shane Wilkin of Lynchburg says the prosecution will be tough on Pike County’s budget. 

“You have the cost of a trial, the cost of a jury and this could stretch on for some time and in a county the size of Pike, depending on that final cost, we could be looking at 10 to 20 percent of their overall budget.”

Auditor Dave Yost estimates local costs could top a million dollars. “Justice should not be a matter of affordability.”

State lawmakers are coming up with a bill to allow a state panel to help smaller counties pay for handling certain capital crimes. But the bill likely won't be proposed until next year.