The Boone County Prosecutor’s office is handling the most murder cases it’s seen in more than 20 years.
On Monday, prosecutors changed the charge for Cameron White, the man suspected of shooting and killing 13-year-old Dajion Harris, from involuntary manslaughter to second-degree murder.
The change made the case the 29th pending murder case in the Boone County Circuit Court.
“We have more murder cases than we’ve ever had, and really more murder cases per attorney,” said Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight, who started his career as an attorney for Boone County in 1992.
Knight is one of 15 attorneys in his office, 14 of which are permitted to prosecute a murder case. In addition to the murder cases, each attorney helps litigate more than 6,000 other criminal cases in the county.
“Each one of the prosecutors is handling over 400 cases– really, really large caseloads,” Knight said. “It’s very important for us to as efficient and organized as possible.”
When asked if he is concerned about an attorney becoming overwhelmed by the workload, Knight told ABC 17 News that his team is pragmatic in that they prioritize the most serious cases.
“What I expect from our attorneys is that they go into trial, and they’re reasonably well-prepared. Because, of course, they have other cases. I can’t expect everyone to be perfect at all, no one is perfect,” Knight said.
The earliest pending murder case stems from 2002. The large majority of cases are connected to alleged crimes in 2018 and 2019. Only one of the 29 cases did not originate in Boone County.
Knight said managing the caseload is a team effort that includes all 42 prosecutors, investigators, victim advocates and administrative assistants in his office.
Copyright 2019 KMIZ