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Simpson trial cost: $916,140

The murder trial of O.J. Simpson already has cost taxpayers more than the high-profile trials of Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, while still more than a month away from opening arguments, according to figures released Saturday.

The cost to Los Angeles County of prosecuting Simpson was $916,140 as of Sept. 30. The figures are released monthly by the county Auditor-Controller's office.

Simpson has pleaded not guilty to the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, who were slashed and stabbed to death on the night of June 12.

The cost of prosecuting Sirhan, who was convicted of the 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, was $592,806, and the case against Manson and his co-defendants, convicted of murdering seven people in 1969, cost $768,838.

The most expensive case in Los Angeles history was the unsuccessful prosecution of members of the McMartin family on charges of sexual abuse of children at a family-run preschool. That cost taxpayers $13.2-million over several trials spanning a number of years in the late 1980s and 1990.

Legal experts have estimated that Simpson's trial will cost taxpayers in excess of $5-million and any subsequent appeals or retrials would send the cost spiraling. Experts also estimate that Simpson will spend his entire fortune, put at about $14.2-million.

Doomed deer supported

NORWICH, Conn. _ A plan to kill 30 deer to cut costs at the local zoo threw this city into an uproar Saturday as noisy demonstrators, shouting "save Bambi," vowed to impeach the government.

Pickets lined the street leading to Mohegan Park Zoo while others demonstrated around City Hall. The demonstrations began after the plan was announced Friday.

"One caller said kill the commission, keep the deer," said Mary Elizabeth Kenyon, secretary to the city manager. "That pretty well sums up the mood."

Because of fears that the herd could contract rabies or tuberculosis and then infect zoo visitors, zoo officials considered an elaborate plan of building fences and annually testing the herd. But costs for the program were so high that city officials decided they would have to simply destroy the herd.

Ice cream to be dumped

MARSHALL, Minn. _ Nobody wants it at home, so a Minnesota company is looking outside the state for a place to dump millions of gallons of ice cream made before it closed a plant due to a salmonella outbreak.

Schwan's issued a nationwide recall of its ice cream Oct. 7. Hundreds of salmonella cases linked to the ice cream have been confirmed in 16 states, and thousands of cases are suspected in 20 others.

Officials say the source of salmonella may have been a truck that carried raw eggs before delivering pasteurized ice cream mix to the plant in Marshall. It was unclear whether all the ice cream to be dumped was tainted.