Attorneys for Gail Gerlach, who was acquitted in April of manslaughter in the shooting death of Brendan Kaluza-Graham, have submitted an itemized list of their expenses, totaling close to $330,000, to the court.
Superior Court Judge Annette Plese has yet to rule on how much of that request must be paid by state taxpayers. After returning a not guilty verdict, 10 of 12 jurors agreed Gerlach fired in self-defense when he killed Kaluza-Graham, who was driving away in the self-employed plumber’s SUV left idling in his driveway in March 2013.
Under Washington state law, the civil verdict allows defense attorneys and Gerlach to be reasonably compensated for court costs and lost wages. At a hearing held last month, lead defense attorney Richard Lee argued three attorneys and two expert witnesses were necessary for Gerlach’s defense in the high-profile trial.
But prosecutor Deric Martin said the state should pay far less than requested because of duplicated efforts, unwarranted court time for expert witnesses and other frivolous expenses.
Plese said at the hearing in May she planned to rule on court costs “soon” in a written opinion. Her decision will be forwarded to the state’s Office of Risk Management, which will then develop a payment plan with taxpayer dollars collected throughout Washington.
You can read defense attorneys’ itemized request for reimbursement in its entirety (with redactions of personal information) here.
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