On the morning of the second full day of deliberations in the Aaron Hernandez trial, there was a buzz about a possible mistrial due to juror issues. However, it appears that the real issue is with local Boston television station WHDH [See update to this story below]
According to multiple tweets by Boston Herald reporter Bob McGovern, Judge E. Susan Garsh stated that a potential mistrial could happen down the road, and the problem could have led to the dismissal of two jurors. The reason? Two of the 12 jurors reported that they were being watched by a single person inside a WHDH van outside the Fall River, Massachusetts courthouse. They presented photos of the license plate to Judge Garsh during a short hearing Thursday morning.
Garsh says there was one person in the vehicle, it slowed down when jurors left and was watching them. #AaronHernandez
— Bob McGovern (@BobMcGovernJr) April 9, 2015
The two jurors who reported the problem were brought into the courtroom on Thursday morning, a male juror appearing first, surrounded by attorneys, Aaron Hernandez, and Judge E. Susan Garsh. Minutes later, a second juror, described by McGovern as a “young woman,” was escorted into the courtroom to speak with Garsh.
By 9:50 a.m., Garsh made it crystal clear that she may ban the television station from the courtroom.
— Liam Martin (@LiamWCVB) April 9, 2015
Judge Garsh then spoke directly to the reporter in question, Byron Barnett from WHDH, a local Boston television station.
Garsh is reportedly ordering a transcript of what was said in court this morning and will make a decision later in the day as to what steps she will take.
UPDATE: Judge Garsh will hold a hearing with representatives from WHDH at approximately 2 p.m. ET. Prior to the lunch break, she handed out an order with regards to juror interference.
— Lisa Kraus Edwards (@LAKEdwards) April 9, 2015
Closing arguments by both the prosecution and defense took place on Tuesday. The case was handed over to a 12-person jury late in the afternoon, with a full day of deliberations starting on Wednesday. The outcome of the case has been a top trend on Twitter with the hashtags #AaronHernandez and #VerdictWatch being used to follow the case.