Price of Justice: City Costs for the Huguely Murder Trial
The Huguely murder trial will cost Charlottesville in terms of time and money, but so far, city planners say they have not shelled out a huge amount of cash.
With the amount of people coming and going from the courtroom, and all the security needed, you would think this has to be costing the city some big bucks. But pre-planning has helped, and until this is over, city staff really won't know the bottom line.
The cost of running the city adds up, and the high profile murder case of George Huguely is an extra expense.
Charlottesville Sheriff James Brown said, "We provide the same safety and security everyday for people. It's usually not, you know, for one case over a duration that's scheduled."
But from court, to media, to security, the cost so far has been surprisingly low because the city did some research.
City spokesman Ric Barrick said, "What we did is we contacted Chesapeake, Virginia and they were the home of the Malvo trial, which is the sniper trial, very much the same sort of media interest."
The court scheduled extra time on the docket, so no other cases would get pushed back: $0. Staff set up an overflow courtroom for journalists with a closed circuit television: $2,500. But for the dollars it costs to close off streets and set up space for media, that's an unknown at this time.
"There is obviously some potential overtime for the sheriff's department, the police department and that you just can't quantify," said Barrick.
So until a verdict comes down, the jury is out on exactly how much this will hit Charlottesville's bottom line.
While we won't have final numbers until after the fact, we do know this could have been a lot more expensive. For instance, had there been a change of venue or the jury had to be sequestered, the cost to the city would have grown enormously.