Moving Mack Trial Will Be Expensive

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

Washoe County officials say at best estimate, they think changing venues will tack on an additional $100,000 to the cost of giving Mack a fair and impartial trial...but Second Judicial Court Judge, Janet Berry says, it's too early to tell.

"All trials have their own rhythm, and often times things pop up and a judge has to have hearings...just like we've seen with Judge Herndon all week. Normally, in a straightforward trial, I can seat a jury in 3 to 4 hours."

But Berry says in the case of Darren Mack, it's not a straightforward trial...and every day spent selecting jurors and hearing the case, will all add to the total cost. While the defendant is responsible for paying his own attorney and witness fees, Washoe County has to pay for costs associated with the prosecution.

"We have 210 witnesses noted. That doesn't mean that all of them will be called, but potentially, 210 folks will have to go to Clark County, give their testimonies. The County will have to pay to transport those people, pay any meals, hotels, and other costs associated with the case."

This also includes transporting evidence to Las Vegas...and paying the new jury, once they are seated in the case. That's $40.00 a day for 15 jurors...and there's no telling how long the trial will last. County officials say the cost of Mack's trial will extend their allotted budget for judicial costs...and with the recent five percent cutbacks, the Mack trial could put the County in a tough place.

"It's going to be some tough budget decisions, some re-prioritizing. Maybe some programs that the public enjoys now will have to be foregone because we do have this mandate to fund the trial."

The County will also have to front the cost of moving Mack from Washoe County Jail down to the Clark County Detention Center, where he'll be held during the trial. That will happen sometime before Wednesday, October 12th. Mack is considered a flight risk, so Washoe County Sheriff's say they have not yet decided whether he'll be taken by car or by airplane.

The court is saying the trial could last about four weeks...and that's just a prediction...but due to the amount of people on the witness list, and the fact that it's already taken three days for a decision to move the trial, Judge Berry tells us no one will know the true cost of the trial until it's over.


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