Defenders Seek $350,000 For South Dakota Death Penalty Case

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – The Pennington County Public Defender’s Office is asking the county for about $350,000 to help defend a man facing the death penalty for the alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend.

The extra costs in Jonathon Klinetobe’s case involve expert evaluations, travel expenses and witness fees.

The 27-year-old Klinetobe, of Sturgis, is charged with first-degree murder for the stabbing death of Jessica Rehfeld. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Klinetobe and Richard Hirth, an alleged accomplice.

Eric Whitcher, director of the public defender’s office, says it’s a complex issue and death penalty cases are “extremely expensive.” He could not elaborate because of a judge’s gag order.

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