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McMichaels, Bryan murder trial cost Glynn County just over $1 million

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:57 PM EST
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GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - We now know what it cost taxpayers in Glynn County to handle security for the murder trial of Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as William “Roddie” Bryan.

Glynn County Commissioners were briefed by the county’s chief financial officer at Tuesday night’s special-called meeting, where they learned just over a million dollars were spent on things like overtime for first responders and increased surveillance technology.

County commissioners noted they were actually surprised by the final price tag of just over a million dollars for security measures for the murder trial, adding they initially were bracing for a total cost five times that.

The county did have resources all around the courthouse for the entire trial process. The Glynn County Sheriff’s Office handled security around the courthouse grounds, with deputies inside and outside the building, and also on patrol as well as the transport of the McMichaels and Bryan from the jail to the courthouse.

The biggest costs were for sheriff’s deputies overtime, as well as costs for mutual aid with surrounding agencies that lent a hand over the six weeks.

Some days saw crowds well into the hundreds, drawing numerous groups and organizations showing their support for the Arbery family, but there were no instances of violence breaking out.

At Tuesday night’s county commission meeting, the county chairman credited the Arbery family for having a role in the outcome of the trial process.

Glynn County Commission Chairman Wayne Neal said, “To the Arbery family, their message to the community was one of peace. And I think that added a great deal to our final outcome. To our unified command and the work that they did, and certainly to the Sheriff’s Office for the way he handled the courthouse and the work that they put into it. It was a great combined effort that spoke a message of peace for Glynn County.”

Again, the federal trial is happening next month just blocks from the county courthouse at the federal courthouse complex in Brunswick.

According to county leaders, the feds will handle security out to the courthouse steps. Anything outside of that will be the city or county’s responsibility.

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