BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) — The family of the convicted marathon bomber is in America, on your tax dollars, and survivors are outraged after learning the news.
As of Thursday, family members of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been staying at the Hampton Inn in Revere under very tight security, just one of the things tax dollars are paying for. FOX25’s Sharman Sacchetti investigated how much this trip is costing you.
Sources say these family members are being called as witnesses and not only that, at least three agencies are working around the clock to protect and transport them. This is all part of the defense team’s strategy to save Tsarnaev. While it’s unclear when their flight started, we know the last part of it came through Amsterdam and landed at Logan Airport and cost nearly $2,500 per person.
The cost to put them up at the Hampton Inn at the government rate: almost $200 per night, per person. And a source says at least three agencies, the FBI, US Marshal’s and Revere Police are involved in constant protection.
“I think you’re probably talking about $100,000 plus in that neighborhood in terms of security and out of pocket costs associated with travel,” former US attorney Michael Sullivan said.
And that’s just for this trip.
Lawyer fees or even what all witnesses during the trial cost is still unclear. One defense witness, Mark Spencer of Arsenal Consulting, charged $375 per hour and billing taxpayers for $150,000.
Governor Charlie Baker said, “It’s a federal trial, it’s a federal case, the feds ultimately need to make the decisions about this.”
Baker was non-committal about how resources are being used, even state ones.
Sullivan told Sacchetti that while he understands taxpayer outrage, the whole point is to make sure it’s done right.
“The court wants to make sure that at the end of the day, the defendant gets a fair trial and would not want to add any potential issues on appeal in the penalty phase, prosecutors finished making their case yesterday,” he said.
Marathon survivor Marc Fucarile reached out to us Friday night, reacting to this news, saying that he’s outraged that Tsarnaev’s family’s expenses are being paid for when “myself and some of the other survivors and our families have to pay for our own parking at court, lunch, and we were told that if the trial was moved out of state, we’d have to pay for our own travel and lodging, there.”
The statement went on to say: “Why should our country pay for them when that family committed a violent act against our country? Not to mention, all of the free government services this family previously enjoyed on the backs of the taxpayers including government assistance and a free ride to UMass Dartmouth. In contrast, I was denied housing assistance I sought after the bombings, even though I needed a handicapped accessible apartment, and my wife lost her job as a result of the events.”
He ended by saying he feels badly for the taxpayers that have to pay for this after they were so generous to all the survivors and the One Fund.