As a new group of jurors is being selected for the penalty retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias, defense costs for Arizona taxpayers has skyrocketed to $2.5 million.
This number will continue to rise during a second penalty phase aimed at determining Arias’ prison sentence.
Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick determined that Arias' two court-appointed attorneys have billed for $2.5 million to date after she was found unable to pay for her own defense.
Prosecutors have declined to provide their costs to try the case.
Attorneys working to pick a jury have cut more than 50 percent of 400 potential panelists called in this week, many who said they knew too much about the case to be impartial or had already made up their minds about her punishment.
Arias was convicted of murder last year in the 2008 killing of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander at his suburban Phoenix home, but jurors couldn't agree on a sentence.
Prosecutors have one more shot with the new jury to secure the death penalty, otherwise Arias faces life in prison. The retrial is expected to last into December.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys on Wednesday filed a motion seeking to dismiss the death penalty as an option, citing prosecutorial misconduct, among other things.
The filing reiterates previous allegations that prosecutors withheld evidence in the case and failed to disclose witnesses in a timely manner. The motion was first reported by the Arizona Republic before being made public later in the day.
Prosecutors declined to comment on Wednesday.
The judge has previously denied numerous motions by the defense to dismiss the death penalty as an option. A hearing is set for mid-October for arguments over a similar motion.
The judge also has repeatedly denied defense attempts to move the trial out of Phoenix and to sequester the jury.
Such a flurry of motions by defense attorneys in the days leading up to a trial is common, particularly in death penalty cases, as lawyers work to build grounds for a possible appeal.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.