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October 22, 2017 01:02 PM

South Dakota Sees Funding Increase Amid Death Penalty Cases

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP)

Defending two men facing the possibility of the death penalty in a murder case will cost a western South Dakota county's budget as much as $1 million more in 2018.

Pennington County commissioners granted the request made by the courthouse and public defenders last month for more than $500,000 increases each to their 2018 budgets. A large portion of those will go toward defending two men facing the death penalty on first-degree murder charges.

One official says death penalty cases are expensive and taxpayers can reasonably expect to shoulder up to $1 million for the prosecution and defense in such a case.

Jonathon Klinetobe and Richard Hirth have been charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the disappearance and death of 22-year-old Jessica Rehfeld in 2015.
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