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Grant County tallies costs, savings in Easley case

Umatilla County's bed is saving Grant County money for holding a youth charged with murder.

By Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on September 30, 2014 12:25PM

CANYON CITY – The juvenile murder case making its way through the courts is tapping Grant County coffers, but not as much as it could, officials said last week.

Dean Hoodenpyl, director of Grant County Community Corrections, said Umatilla County has helped cut costs by allowing Grant County to use one of the juvenile beds it has on reserve at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Center in The Dalles.

Thanks to that arrangement, “we have saved $33,465 in detention fees,” he said.

Hoodenpyl offered that assessment in a report to the Grant County Court on Sept. 24.

The Court had asked Hoodenpyl and District Attorney Ryan Joslin to give them an estimate of the expenses expected for trying Dillan Dakota Easley, the 15-year-old charged with shooting his foster father and another man in a hunt cabin near Granite a year ago.

Easley is being held at NORCOR, but was brought to Grant County last month for a hearing to determine whether he should be tried in adult court. Circuit Judge J. Burdette Pratt ruled the case should remain in the juvenile system.

Hoodenpyl said the hearing, transport arrangements and courthouse security went smoothly.

He lauded juvenile counselor Cindy Tirico for her efforts to ensure the hearing could be handled in Grant County, avoiding the expense of a move to a location outside the county.

“This was the cheapest way to do it, to have it here,” he said.

He provided a breakdown of costs for his department so far, which total $14,868. That includes two months of NORCOR costs before the Umatilla bed became available.

Aside from his department’s costs, the County Court recently received an unexpected $8,000 invoice from a psychologist consulted by the prosecution in the case. That prompted the Court’s request for an update on projected costs.

District Attorney Ryan Joslin said there could be another bill for other work done by that psychologist. He said if the need for more expert testimony arises, there could be additional consultations and bills as the case proceeds.

Joslin said the next step in the case is a motion hearing Feb. 17-19, and the trial is scheduled March 2-12 as a juvenile matter.


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