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Criado expenses: 'This isn't even the start of it'

Public and private entities are racking up tens of thousands of dollars in their effort to nurse Jordan Criado back to health to face a possible death sentence for allegedly murdering his wife and four young kids July 18 in Medford.

The unemployed 51-year-old Criado, who was indicted Tuesday on 24 counts of aggravated murder and a dozen other felonies, spent 17 days in Rogue Valley Medical Center's intensive-care unit.

RVMC spokesman Grant Walker declined to discuss the costs and what entity was responsible for covering them, saying it was privileged information as part of Criado's medical record.

However, medical studies collected through public-health websites put costs of just being in hospital ICUs at ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 per day.

Under that scenario, Criado's ICU costs could range from $25,500 to $68,000.

Walker declined to discuss whether Criado had any health insurance.

In cases where RVMC provides care to uninsured patients, those costs often are absorbed as charity care through the hospital's financial assistance program, which last year totaled about $24 million, according to RVMC's website.

Medford police Chief Tim George said his agency was not responsible for Criado's medical bills, which were for treatment for smoke inhalation from fires he allegedly set inside the family's West 10th Street house and a cut wrist that investigators believe was self-inflicted before firefighters discovered the victims.

"We didn't have anything to do with his injuries, so we're not on the hook for that," George said.

George's department, however, did rack up $21,150 in police overtime costs for keeping Criado under 24-hour watch at RVMC until his condition had improved enough for his arrest Thursday and lodging at the Jackson County Jail.

One officer stood watch over Criado during his first 15 days in the hospital's ICU, and then two officers were assigned for the final two days after his condition improved, George said.

The money will come from the department's budgeted overtime fund and personal services account for the new budget year that started July 1, George said.

The cost does not include regular on-duty officers involved in the investigation, George said.

"And this is only the start of it," George said. "You want to talk about expenses, hang on. This isn't even the start of it."

Veteran Redmond defense attorney Geoffrey Gokey has been appointed to represent Criado, whose defense will be paid by the state.

The average cost of aggravated murder defenses in Oregon between January 2004 through December 2010 was $224,373, said Billy Strehlow, a public-defense analyst for the state's Office of Public Defense Services, which handles billings on these cases.

That cost covers attorney time as well as investigations and expert witnesses, Strehlow said. The average covers cases that go to trial as well as those with a plea, with one out of every four aggravated murder cases eventually going to trial, Strehlow said.

Criado's 30-year-old wife, Tabasha Paige-Criado, died of stab wounds to the neck and abdomen, according to autopsy results. Sons Andrew, 5, and Isaac, 6, died of stab wounds to the neck and probable carbon monoxide poisoning from the arson fire. Elijah, 7, and Aurora, 2, probably died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which will be determined through pending toxicology tests, according to autopsy records.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.