County Spent Nearly $32,000 on Heaggan-Brown Jury Sequestration
Records show Milwaukee County spent $31,929.44 sequestering the jury for the Dominique Heaggan-Brown homicide trial.
It was the first time in more than 20 years that a jury had to be sequestered in Milwaukee County.
"It's very unusual," says Clerk of Circuit Court John Barrett. "The judge has to make that call."
Barrett says the jury was likely sequestered for privacy reasons, in an effort to keep outside influences from impacting their decision.
They were housed at a hotel within city limits, but TV's were removed from their rooms. They could speak with family members, but only under the supervision of Sheriff Deputies.
"We try to provide entertainment to make the time go," says Barrett. "This was a 10 day trial, so a fairly long one."
Here's the breakdown for what the county paid for:
- Hotel $20,023.00
- Transportation $2,000
- Weekend Activities $3328.60
- Meals $6577.84
The court also had to pay for 4 deputies to supervise the jurors.
The total cost breaks down to about $1,596 per juror/deputy.
Barrett would not elaborate on what the "weekend activities" were.
"The judge has asked that I not detail any of that stuff in the event that we somehow have another sequestered jury," he says.
Barrett says the most difficult aspect was finding hotel rooms with the U.S. Open happening last week at Erin Hills. Hotels in Milwaukee were going for more than $500 a night, but the court was able to secure a rate of $119 a night at an undisclosed hotel.
"We were happy to get that rate during that time period," he says.
The county does not budget for sequestrations. Barrett says they will have to shift their budget around to absorb the cost.