The Missoula County Attorney’s Office is preparing for several important trials that will keep the entire staff very busy for the next few weeks.

County Attorney Kirsten Pabst said one of the court cases involves a charge of attempted deliberate homicide.

"First and foremost, we have Anthony Mascarenas who has been charged with attempted deliberate homicide," Pabst said. "That trial is slated to start on July 31. Shortly after that on August 9 we have three trials that look like they're going to go. One is for assault on a minor, one is a burglary and another is assault on a peace officer. The following week on August 16, we have three more that are going to go to trial. One is a sexual assault case against a child, there's an aggravated assault case and a partner or family member assault case."

Pabst said the cost of such trials varies from case to case.

"Most of the costs are borne through the normal salaries of the prosecutors," she said. "The unknown expenses can be for expert witnesses and travel costs for witnesses who move out of the jurisdiction pending trial. It's hard to know just exactly what those costs will run."

Pabst said her office does not 'keep score' in the sense of wins and losses when it comes to court cases.

"So many of our cases are settled through active negotiations which are a win-win for everybody," she said. "We're getting the defendant the treatment that he needs, or giving the victim the restitution she needs. In cases like that, it's a success if the defendant never comes back into the system."

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