Editor's Note: This story was clarified to reflect that one medical expert will be unable to testify, result in a maximum medical bill of $12,000.
The defense lawyer for accused child killer Gary Waite has been given permission to spend up to $12,000 on medical experts and a private investigator as the case against Waite heads toward trial.
Warren County Judge John Hall approved payments of up to $7,000 apiece to two doctors at the request of Waite’s lawyer, Marc Zuckerman. One of the doctors is a forensic pathologist from Albany, Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard.
Hubbard, though, is unable to testify in the case, so only the other doctor -- a pathologist from central New York -- will testify.
Hall also granted Zuckerman’s request for a private investigator, with payment of up to $5,000.
Defendants represented by private lawyers can hire all the expert witnesses they want with their own money.
But Zuckerman is court-appointed, and a judge must approve spending for expert witnesses in indigent cases. Judges typically approve expert witness and private investigator funding paid for by taxpayers only in serious cases.
Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan said her office has also retained a medical expert, and was preparing for trial in the case. There have been no recent plea discussions since Waite rejected an offer in July that would require him to plead guilty to second-degree murder.
Waite, of Glens Falls, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of his 15-month-old son on Feb. 15, 2012.
He is accused of causing the toddler to suffer serious head injuries. He told investigators the boy fell and hit his head, then he tossed the boy onto a couch, from which he fell to the floor.
Waite’s lawyer, Marc Zuckerman, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Meanwhile, Hall has moved the trial date because of witness availability issues.
It was originally scheduled for Oct. 21 but will instead start Nov. 12.
Hall has scheduled the case of William L. Smith, a former West Glens Falls firefighter accused of setting fires at the department’s main station in Queensbury, to start trial on Oct. 21 instead. He faces three felony counts of second-degree arson.
Zuckerman also represents Smith.
Both Waite and Smith have pleaded not guilty and are being held in Warren County Jail, pending further court action.