Jury selection to begin in fatal prison riot, defense costs exceed $360K

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware taxpayers have shelled out more than $360,000 in legal defense costs for 18 prisoners charged in a deadly prison riot last year - and the bills will continue to pile up as the trials get under way.

The cost to taxpayers is expected to grow substantially as each of five separate groups of defendants stands trial on charges of participating in a hostage-taking and uprising at Delaware's maximum-security prison last year, during which a prison guard was killed.

Jury selection in the trial of the first four defendants begins Monday.

The defense costs are in addition to $7.55 million state officials paid to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of six Department of Correction employees and relatives of slain officer Steven Floyd.