Limestone County DA needs funds for more help

District Attorney Brian Jones is seeking $200,000 from the county commission and additional funding from Madison, Huntsville, and Decatur to hire more help.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 6:18 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 2:38 PM

WAAY31 is learning the Limestone County District Attorney's Office is understaffed and they fear if they don't receive more help soon, cases could be delayed for years.

District Attorney Brian Jones is seeking $200,000 from the county commission and additional funding from Madison, Huntsville, and Decatur to hire more help.

"I feel like if I knew someone that had just been killed i would want that to be solved quickly, not have to wait a couple of years to figure out what happened," Raudel Armenta, who lives in Athens, said.

Jones says if he doesn't get help soon, that's exactly what might happen to crime victims in Limestone County.

"As this office starts to dwindle in resources, we're going to make an adjustment in our ability to try cases, we're going to start picking and choosing which ones we can prosecute and which ones we can't," Jones said.

The District Attorney's Office does not have enough money to hire more employees and with an increasing caseload, Jones can't do it all himself. Jones is looking to hire at least two new employees.

"I want to address it now because if it gets worse, then I'm going to have to explain to one of these victims, I'm sorry I can't get to you for 2 to 3 years."

Jones says there is currently a two year delay to hear felony cases that go to trial. If he does not receive the help he needs, cuts will be made and the waiting period to hear cases will only get longer.

"If we reduce the number of prosecutors and the number of support staff that number is going to go even higher," Jones said.

Jones also needs the help of Huntsville, Madison and Decatur. If a driver receives a traffic ticket from a Madison or Huntsville police officer in Limestone County, Jones argues his office should receive a solicitors fee of $23.50 from that citation. It's money he says he needs and is not getting, and with more people moving to the area, Jones is worried his case load will continue to grow.

"They see new houses, apartments. Unfortunately being the District Attorney, I see it as a dramatic spike in crime."

Jones says the money requested would be enough to hire two new assistant district attorneys. Each position would cost approximately $66,000. So far he has not received a decision from the county commission.

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