Cost of Simpson trial to taxpayers: $3,000-$5,000 per day


• It's estimated that the loot O.J. Simpson and his accomplices are accused of stealing was worth about $100,000.

And that's about what Simpson's armed robbery-kidnapping trial might cost taxpayers.

The trial, which started this week, is expected to cost the court between $75,000 and $125,000, according to court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer. That's about five weeks at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000 a day in salaries and other expenses.

The court based its estimate in part on previous high-profile trials, including the first trial of defendants in the murder of casino mogul Ted Binion and the trial of Jessica Williams, who crashed her vehicle into a group of teens working along Interstate 15, killing six.

Binion was found dead in his home in 1998. In 2000, his girlfriend Sandy Murphy and her lover, Rick Tabish, were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The 42-day trial cost the court about $3,200 a day, Sommermeyer said. Clark County District Attorney David Roger, who is prosecuting O.J. Simpson, won successful convictions in the 2000 Binion trial. But in 2004 retrial, Murphy and Tabish were acquitted of murder.

Williams was convicted of killing six teens while driving with drugs in her system. The 15-day trial cost $10,000 a day. The trial cost so much in part because the jury was sequestered. There are no plans to sequester the Simpson jury.

• Charles Jones, a lawyer for Simpson co-defendant Charles "C.J." Stewart and a former Louisiana state lawmaker, thought he was back home on the bayou as he addressed the jury pool Tuesday.

"And if the state of Louisiana ...Nevada. Wrong state," he said as the courtroom burst into laughter. "Too many Bourbon Streets."

 

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