Franklin County has spent much more than what it budgeted for jury costs this year.
The county has spent $78,218 on jury costs so far this year, but only $45,000 was in the annual budget.
County Clerk Michael Killian said the unexpected costs can be attributed to the trial of accused killer Vicente Ruiz and an increase in Franklin County District Court and civil jury trials. Jurors are paid $10 a day plus mileage, Killian said.
County commissioners agreed Wednesday to use $40,000 in reserve funds to pay for juries.
After current bills are paid, about $6,800 will remain for the rest of the year, and Killian said he doesn't think that will be enough to cover jury costs for the rest of the year.
A third trial for Ruiz is scheduled to start Aug. 23. And four other murder trials may start in Franklin County Superior Court this year.
Jury costs for Ruiz's second trial, which started April 19, were $15,549.
Ruiz, 45, is charged with the 1987 shooting deaths of five men inside Medina's Body Shop. His second trial on five counts of aggravated first-degree murder and one count of first-degree attempted murder ended in a mistrial June 22.
Franklin commissioners also have dipped into reserve funds to pay for trial defense costs, including mental evaluations, private investigators and expert witnesses.
The Ruiz trial and the trials of four other suspected killers could cost the county $500,000 this year, according to county estimates last week.
Commissioners last week approved using $100,000 in reserves to cover defense costs, with $150,000 remaining to be found.
The county already has used up the $150,000 contingency that was built into the budget, said Commissioner Bob Koch.
Like the public defense costs, jury costs can't be controlled.
The county spent $87,022 on jury expenses in 2009. In 2008, juries cost the county about $61,050, and in 2007 about $205,017, according to county documents.
"If they need jurors, we have to provide them," Killian said.