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D.A. now estimates $5 million cost for trial of accused El Paso Walmart shooter

Erik Elken

A trial date for Walmart shooting suspect Patrick Crusius is far from being set, but the El Paso District Attorney’s Office and the Council of Judges are estimating that the cost of that trial could run in the millions of dollars.

The most expensive scenario would be if a change of venue is granted, where officials estimate it could cost $5 million for that prosecution. Money would be needed to transport staff, judges and interpreters, as well as to provide security.

The El Paso County Commissioners have heard a presentation on the possible costs of a trial, and were told both the D.A. and the Council of Judges will be asking for state grants to help pay for some of these costs.

“This is a very unique trial. We have never done anything to this scale, so it’s still speculative on our part,” said District Attorney Jaime Esparza of the cost estimate.

The D.A.’s office has not obtained an indictment yet in the case because the police investigation is still ongoing. Officials said the accused gunman’s trial could last months and have anywhere from 100 to 600 witnesses.

KVIA 2019

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