Overloaded with serious crimes, gang violence and homicides set for trial this year, District Attorney Bob Lee said Friday that his office is forced to consider emergency measures.
Lee said that based on the number of serious cases pending jury trial in the near future, there will not be enough inspectors and attorneys to appropriately investigate and prosecute the existing caseload.
The office is budgeted for 35 attorneys but as of September will only have 33. Mandatory furloughs have cost the office the equivalent of three attorneys, he said.
"The situation is untenable," said Lee in a statement to the press. "We have reached a breaking point and are stretched too thin. We need immediate help as the there is an unprecedented number of homicide jury trials set in the next two months."
District Attorney Lee sent a letter to the County Administrative Officer Susan Mauriello saying that there are eight murder cases set for trial with 13 defendants between now and Nov. 1.
"It is NO exaggeration to observe that the District Attorney's office feels what the public feels: that we are besieged by an onslaught of violent crime," he wrote.
See complete letter in photos.
Lee pointed out that there have been seven completed murder trials this year, but he now faces eight more before November.
"We have reached a breaking point and are stretched too thin," he said.
Alex Cortez, a retrial of a previous first degree murder conviction for allegedly stabbing Chris Carter at a party in 2006. The case was overturned because an expert wasn't allowed to testify that Cortez was "disassociated" at the time.
John Clauer, the man accused of sleeping with his dead girlfriend for a week after killing her in 2011.
Veva Virgil for allegedly smothering her three-year-old daughter in 2008.
David Sanchez, Alex Rodriguez, Uriel Ortiz, for a gang killing on Hecker Pass.
Nicolas Kusalich for allegedly killing his roomate in 2010.
Manuel Meza, Jose Carrillo and Daniel Mendoza for a gang murder in Watsonville in which they allegedly stabbed to death a homeless man in 2009.
Angel Torres: for allegedly killing Richard Campos in a gang murder in 2009.