Chris Brown appears in court for a hearing at the Criminal Courts in Los Angeles. Picture: Paul Buck/Pool

WASHINGTON - When singer Chris Brown was moved from a Los Angeles jail to Washington for what should have been the start of his trial on an assault charge, the cost to taxpayers was more than $4 000 (about R42 421).

The breakdown of the April trip was provided to The Associated Press as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. It includes jail stays, airfare and other transportation costs. The US Marshals Service, which transported Brown, said in a statement on Tuesday that it uses the “safest and most cost-effective means to transport” inmates. Brown didn't fly first class and his hotels weren't five-star.

Brown is scheduled to be in a Washington courtroom on Wednesday. This time, he's out of jail, so he'll be paying his own way.

Asked in April about transporting Brown across the country, one of Brown's lawyers, Mark Geragos, called the case possibly “the single most investigated, prosecuted and expensive misdemeanour prosecution in jurisprudence.”

Prosecutors wanted Brown in Washington to face trial on a charge of hitting a man outside the W hotel in October 2013. At the time his trial was set to start, however, Brown was in a Los Angeles jail after being kicked out of a rehab facility.

Records show Brown's trip began April 1 when he was moved to a jail in San Bernardino County, about an hour east of Los Angeles. He spent two days there before being driven to catch a plane. The cost of transportation and lodging was about $1 000, records show.

From there, the Marshals Service group responsible for flying prisoners across country, sometimes called “Con Air,” took over and flew Brown to the D.C. area. That cost: $1 193. Three weeks of housing at a jail in Virginia, about two hours south of Washington, cost $55 a day, the jail said.

Ultimately, Brown's trial was postponed and he only briefly appeared in a D.C. courtroom. Sending him back across the country on “Con Air” cost $1 071. - Sapa-AP