Postscript: The Cost Of Palermo’s “Trial of the Century”

The trial that unfortunately put Palermo in the public eye for two weeks also cost the town and its taxpayers nearly $3,000.

Put another way, the trial cost each of Palermo’s 3,600 residents about 80 cents.

Lynn and Lindsey Maxwell were convicted of endangering the welfare of Lindsey’s daughter, Erin Maxwell, by keeping her in a dilapidated farmhouse with more than 50 pets, and by keeping her in a bedroom with two locks on the outside of the bedroom’s two doors.

The trial took two weeks of evenings and and all-day Saturday sessions.  It was not only the first trial for the town Justice and the most prominent court case in the town’s history, the records show it was also the most expensive court action in the town’s history.

Town clerk Jean Gulliver provided to us a breakdown of the costs:

  • Bailiff:  $832.00
  • Stenographer:  $1599.00
  • Food for Jury: $208.00
  • Water/snacks: $137.00
  • Added Electric for air conditioning: $175.00

Total: $2951.00

Gulliver said that the town drew nearly $2,800 from its contingent fund — a fund set aside to cover unanticipated expenses — to pay all but the electric bill.