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Freddie Gray trials could prove to be costly for Baltimore

Trials in Freddie Gray case to be costly for city, judging by high profile cases in other cities.

The cost to Baltimore for hosting six trials for the officers involved in Freddie Gray's arrest and death is expected to be expensive.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Thursday that she has no estimate of how much it might cost the city to host the court proceedings for the six police officers charged in connection with Gray's death in April. The city has already spent at least $450,000 on police coverage during two days of largely peaceful pretrial hearings last week and Thursday.

Overtime costs for police for other high-profile cases alone reached six figures.

Baltimore is now bracing for six such trials.

— The five-week trial in Florida for George Zimmerman — the Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martincost the public at least $902,000, The Orlando Sentinel reported in 2013. Most of that money, $425,000, was spent by the local sheriff's office on providing security, planning and logistics, according to the newspaper. A second expense — about $183,000 — was spent on police overtime.

— In Boston, police spent about $750,000 in overtime costs during the trial for marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Globe reported in July. Officers worked 13,236 hours from January to May, as the trial spanned from jury selection to sentencing. The total cost of the federal trial was still being tallied.

— Costs had risen to more than $2.2 million in the case involving the 2012 Colorado theater shooter James Holmes before the trial had even started, The Associated Press reported in April. That figure includes $517,000 in overtime for police and city workers. Another $435,000 had been spent on courtroom security and other costs ahead of the trial's opening day. Holmes was found guilty of murder in July.

ywenger@baltsun.com

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