AZ taxpayers foot bill for 'indigent' millionaire's defense
Businessman Fred Knadler is in jail awaiting trial on two alleged murder-for-hire schemes. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Fred Knadler, shown during a taped interview with an undercover officer in the county jail. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Fred Knadler, the multi-millionaire business owner of the Arizona Shower Door Company, is behind bars awaiting trial on three felony counts related to two alleged murder-for-hire schemes.
Despite his success and fortune in business, CBS 5 News has learned taxpayers are footing the bill for Knadler's legal defense.
In addition to his criminal case, Knadler's wife brought divorce proceedings against him. Court documents obtained by CBS 5 News reveal that because of those proceedings, all of Knadler's assets, including bank accounts, rental properties and commercial holdings, are frozen.
"The family law court has seized all his assets and it's off limits," Phoenix criminal defense attorney Vladimir Gagic said.
After a judge ruled that all assets would be frozen, Knadler's private attorney filed a motion to withdraw from the case because Knadler could no longer afford to pay his attorney's fees.
The court ultimately ruled Knadler to be "indigent" and the Maricopa County Office of Public Defense Services is contracting with an attorney to handle his case.
A Maricopa County spokesman says, so far, Knadler's new attorney has billed the county $5,000 for fees and services. That number will rise considerably as the trial approaches and gets underway.
Knadler's trial is scheduled to begin June 20. He has pleaded not guilty.
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