Reports out of Boston say NBC affiliate WHDH is in trouble with the judge in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, after two jurors say they were followed by a station news van after court let out yesterday.
The Boston Herald reports Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh told WHDH reporter Byron Barnett, “This is a very serious matter. I’m going to give you the opportunity to do some investigating.”
The Herald reports one juror reportedly took a photo of the van’s license plate with his cellphone. The Boston Globe says the juror did a U-Turn after being followed and “took down the van’s license plate number.”
The two jurors who reported the incident were questioned at sidebar on Thursday morning, and Garsh later said that “depending on how they reacted,” she may have been forced to dismiss them from the case. Both jurors are remaining on the panel.
Three jurors were dismissed during the course of the trial, and the panel now stands at 12 deliberating and three alternates. Garsh would be forced to declare a mistrial in the closely watched case if four more jurors were dismissed.
She said Thursday she was still determining what steps she may take in response to the jurors’ reports.
“You cannot approach, question, harass, or follow any juror, and there are state felony statutes,” barring such actions, Garsh said in open court, where media members and the public were assembled.
Hernandez is the former New England Patriots player who has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
The station reported the story on its website, but left out the part about its possible involvement.
TVSpy asked WHDH for comment. We will update when we hear back.[Boston Media Watch]