Aurora theater shooter’s court costs surpass $5 million, report says

February 4, 2015
Photo: James Holmes listens to his defense attorney Tamara Brady in court
James Holmes listens to his defense attorney Tamara Brady in court in 2013.

Jury selection in the Aurora theater shooting trial is moving along quickly, and the cost of the trial is racing up as well.

More than $5 million in taxpayer money has been spent so far, according to a report from Yahoo News, which obtained the figures through a Colorado Open Records Act request.

The bill for prosecutors, defense attorneys, the judge, court reporter, trial investigators and victims’ advocates for the district attorney is about $4.5 million, Yahoo reported.

Other top expenses so far include $463,000 on additional security from July 2012 through the end of 2014. Experts hired by the prosecution have received more than $220,000 to date. More than $90,000 was used to install a closed-circuit television system in the courtroom. It cost $20,000 to print 9,000 juror notices and questionnaires.

While the cost mounts, the first phase of jury selection is scheduled to wrap up nearly a week early.  More than 1,000 jurors have been dismissed, but more than 1,000 more have filled out questionnaires and will move to the second phase of individual questioning.  

That process could take months, and the prosecution is worried that many potential jurors had not listed a hardship, and may drop out in the next phase.

The trial is expected to go until October, but if James Holmes gets the death penalty, appeals and costs could stretch out more than a decade.