An attorney for Jodi Arias could receive an extra $200,000 for his legal services.
The County Board of Supervisor's has voted to free up the money in anticipation of Kirk Nurmi's impending bill for his defense of Arias, Maricopa County spokesperson Cari Gerchick told The Huffington Post.
The money is intended to cover the extra $100 an hour that Nurmi is due following his denied request to be taken off the Arias case. He makes $225 an hour defending the convicted murderer.
But Gerchick said the $200,000 is a high-end estimate of what the County expects to pay Nurmi for his services. The county won't know for sure how much it owes Nurmi until he sends a bill.
The county has spent about $1.7 million to date on Arias' defense, Gerchick said.
The Arias trial is in its final stages as the convicted murderer waits to find out if she will be sentenced to death or life in prison.
Defense in high-profile death penalty cases doesn't come cheap. When she filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, Casey Anthony claimed she owed $500,000 in attorneys fees and other costs associated with her trial, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Nationally, state public defenders offices with overworked staff are struggling to keep up with crushing case loads and slashed funding.
"A lawyer with an S on his chest for Superman couldn't represent these people," Norman Lefstein, former dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law told the Associated Press in March. "There are only so many hours in a day. But it's not just caseload. It's the other support services that go along with it."