Security for Richard Manning has cost taxpayers more than $41,00 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Security for Richard Manning has cost taxpayers more than $41,000

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A road-rage killing case continues to drag on in Hamilton County court, as the suspect requires around-the-clock security and medical care.

62-year-old Richard Manning is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault. Police say on December 17, 2013 he shot and killed 39-year-old Alex Gallman after an apparent road rage incident. Manning has been scheduled to go to court for quite some time but his health problems have made that a challenge.

In a status hearing Wednesday, even Judge Christie Sell acknowledged the criminal homicide case of Richard Manning is unusual.

"I appreciate everyone being here today on such an usual procedure," she said.

Channel 3 was there when officers took Manning into custody in December. Two days later, a stroke put him in the hospital.

"Mr. Manning is currently not able to follow two-step commands such as 'turn your head to the right' and 'write down your name,'" testified his Erlanger case manger, Brad Scott.

Scott testified Manning is on a feeding tube, has a tracheotomy and cannot speak.

"This can't be the first defendant who's been subject to severe, extreme medical needs?" asked Sell.

All sides discussed other options for Manning. Erlanger says he would be better off in a facility that could provide therapy. But Judge Sell says the county is only required to provide 'adequate care,' not the best possible. The district attorney's office also brought up the possibility of transferring him to a state-run facility in Nashville.

Manning's attorney, Lloyd Levitt spoke up on behalf of his family, saying, "The family all is here in Chattanooga," Judge Sell responded, "Okay, the convenience of the family would never be a consideration of where a defendant is housed."

In the meantime, it is costing more than $380 a day, plus benefits, for three Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies to guard Manning around the clock.

"In the last 77 days we've spent about $41,000, just in security for this one prisoner. That taxes my budget greatly," says Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond.

Those are taxpayer's dollars.

"Well, I mean, it's unfortunate for the taxpayers but there's not really any viable alternatives at this point in time," says Levitt.

Levitt says all he can do is monitor his client's health.

"Really, we're at a standstill right now," he says.

Another status hearing has been scheduled for April 10th. Count on Channel 3 to follow the very latest developments with this case.

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