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The purpose of getting the trial transcripts would be for an appeal. As you said, if he has a court-appointed attorney representing him on appeal, the county will pick up the tab, so start with that.
Most court reporters tape record the proceedings at the same time they are typing. Try contacting the court reporter and see if they will sell you the tape for less that what they'd charge to transcribe it for you.
If your brother is indigent, meaning he has no money (usually if he is in custody he is indigent) then he is entitled to a free record. If the court insists that he can pay for the record, you are entitled to have a hearing to establish his indigency in order to get a free record. Alternatively, if you have a court-appointed attorney (public defender or not), they always have access to a free record in order to review the case for the appeal. The appellate attorney can give you access to the record to make copies etc.
Carmen M. Roe
Attorney at Law