Taxpayer cost to defend serial killer 'well into six figures' - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Taxpayer cost to defend serial killer 'well into six figures'

Defense attorney David L. Grant tells Cleveland 19 that Michael Madison's defense costs are well into the six figures. (Source: WOIO) Defense attorney David L. Grant tells Cleveland 19 that Michael Madison's defense costs are well into the six figures. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A defense attorney for convicted serial killer Michael Madison said that the cost to defend him is well into the six figures.

Madison was declared indigent in 2013, just months after he was arrested and charged with the murders of Shetisha Sheeley, Angela Deskins and Shirellda Terry. That means that not only the prosecution, but also the defense of Madison was paid for by taxpayers.

Madison was found guilty Thursday of the 14 counts against him, including charges of aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping and offense against a human corpse.

Madison's attorney, David L Grant, was assigned to the case in 2013. 

"I don't think we spent a dime that didn't need to be spent, absolutely not. I wouldn't look back and have any reservations about what we did and what we thought was necessary," said Grant. 

He described spending money for things like experts and investigators, many of whom will never see the witness stand.

"We're dealing with the ultimate penalty here, we're dealing with somebody's life," said Grant. "What if a friend or family member is sitting where my client is sitting now, with their life on the line at that point in time? Would you think that those are wasted dollars or should that person get a fair trial, be afforded due process and have every opportunity to save their life?" 

Cleveland 19 reached out to the Office of the Ohio Public Defender. Since the case is not completed, they only have a tally of bills totaling less than $100. 

Cleveland 19 learned that the average cost to defend a death penalty case in Cuyahoga County in 2014 was $14,015.22. In Hamilton County for that same year, the average cost for defending death cases was $25,065.90. 

Madison could potentially face the death penalty, determined in the next phase of the trial. Prosecutor Tim McGinty said that that phase usually lasts between three and four days. The jury will be sequestered again to decide what penalty they will recommend to the judge. The judge will eventually decide if Madison gets the death penalty.

None of the victims' family members, or McGinty wanted to speak publicly on the jury's decision for fear it would compromise the next phase of the trial.

Police found the first victim on July 19, 2013, after answering a complaint about odors coming from an East Cleveland garage. Two more bodies were discovered the following day. All three were wrapped in plastic bags.

Madison was eventually arrested at his mother's home after a two-hour standoff with police.

Cleveland 19 reached out to the prosecutor's office to get an idea of that office's costs in Madison's case, but no one from that office responded to the request.  

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