Franklin County Prosecutor reflects on first year in office - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Franklin County Prosecutor reflects on first year in office

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PASCO, Wash. -- It's been almost a year since Shawn Sant took office as Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney.  He says it's been a productive year, but the biggest challenge to date is the ever growing work load.

"We've had over 200 additional felony case filings this year;. Our defense panel has been maxed out. So they actually had to assign three attorneys to take on the overage, because our attorneys by contract and certain standards are only allowed to handle 150 cases assigned per year," says Sant.

The 11 attorneys in the Prosecutor's Office  including Sant get by -by multi tasking and being more efficient.

"We've  had the ability to work with our existing attorneys to cross cover each so to speak from both the felony court to district court," says Sant.

The work load this year also has more serious offenses.  When asking the Prosecutor what he's been seeing a lot of he responded with, " Assault in the first degree. That's typically related to the drive by type offenses.  But in addition to drive by, we've seen a bigger increase in assault one cases than we've had all of last yea,"

San says last year they had maybe one or two cases, but this year they're already up to ten or 11 assault in the first degree charges.

In addition to assault, Sant says there's also been an increase in kidnappings and crimes committed with firearms as well as a spike in gang related violence.

" Fortunately, the voters of Franklin County decided that we needed to take action . I think a lot of people were surprised that we got our bond passed but I think the citizens of Franklin County realized that its an investment in our community," says Sant of the planned jail expansion.

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