03/20/2013 03:25 pm ET

Jodi Arias Trial Could Cost Tax Payers $1 Million In Lawyer Fees Alone

FILE - This March 5, 2013 file photo shows Jodi Arias gesturing toward the jury, in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix
FILE - This March 5, 2013 file photo shows Jodi Arias gesturing toward the jury, in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Arias is on trial for the murder of Travis Alexander in 2008. Arias lied repeatedly throughout her evaluation conducted by a psychologist hired by the defense, who diagnosed her with amnesia and post-traumatic stress disorder, but most of the falsities were irrelevant to his ultimate conclusions about her mental state, the psychologist testified Tuesday March 19, 2013, at Arias' murder trial.(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic,Tom Tingle, Pool, file)

Defending Jodi Arias has cost Arizona tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ABC15 reports that Arias' legal fees have cost $838,000 so far, according to Cari Gerchick, Maricopa County Communications Director. Since the alleged murderer is represented by public defenders, tax payers are on the hook for the cost.

That number doesn't factor in jail or court costs and, as the trial continues, expenses continue to climb.

The story comes one week after the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Gideon v. Wainright decision, which resulted in states being required to provide legal council for indigent defendants accused of crimes.

The Associated Press reported that, a half-century after the court's historic decision, "in many states today, taxpayer-funded public defenders face crushing caseloads, the quality of legal representation varies from county to county and people stand before judges having seen a lawyer only briefly, if at all."

Arias is accused of first-degree murder in the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

On Tuesday, psychologist Richard Samuels, who testified for the defense, "endured a lengthy and scathing cross-examination by Maricopa County Prosecutor Juan Martinez," according to HuffPost reporter David Lohr.

Samuels diagnosed Arias with post-traumatic stress disorder, but the psychologist also said he failed to re-administer his test after Arias admitted she lied during her first examination.

Arias admits to killing Alexander, but claims it was in self-defense.



Jodi Arias