Hamilton County tab for ailing suspect: $380 a day

Hamilton County tab for ailing suspect: $380 a day

March 7th, 2014 by Todd South in Local Regional News

Richard Manning

Richard Manning

POLL: Should the county spend nearly $400 a day to guard a dying suspect?

A 62-year-old man charged in the road rage shooting death of Alex Gallman in December has become one of the most expensive defendants held in sheriff's custody in recent years.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said Thursday that he told court officials that Richard Manning costs his department more than $380 a day, with a bill of more than $41,000 for the 77 days he's been held so far.

Manning suffered a stroke days after the Dec. 17, 2013, shooting and is being treated at Erlanger hospital for cancer and diabetes, as well. Levitt said in January that Manning was minimally responsive and on a feeding tube.

His condition has not improved since the last court date in January.

Police charged Manning after witnesses said he shot and killed Gallman, 39, during an alleged road rage incident and then fled.

Because he is being held on a charge of first-degree murder, he requires two deputies to supervise him 24 hours a day.

Manning's attorney, Lloyd Levitt, first sought to have a lower bond set for his client but has since withdrawn that request. Levitt said Thursday that setting a bond for his client would not help him given that he is receiving proper treatment at the hospital.

Hammond said he's contacted the Tennessee Department of Correction about housing Manning in a facility near Nashville that could both supervise him and provide care. The sheriff was doubtful that it would take on the inmate, given that the cost would shift to that department.

Levitt argued in a Wednesday status hearing before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Christie Mahn Sell that moving his client would be burdensome for court proceedings and on family visitation.

Sell said the visitation isn't a factor she'll consider about what will be done with Manning as the court moves toward a preliminary hearing, should his condition improve.

Levitt said that until his client can participate in and understand the court proceedings his case can't move forward.

The defense attorney has previously said he wants Manning transferred to a treatment or hospice-type care facility but local centers don't want armed guards accompanying the patient.

Sell set another status hearing for April 10.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.