The judge has sent the jury in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez home for the day after it failed to reach a decision following a third day of deliberations.
Deliberations will resume on Friday morning.
Thursday was a busy day in the courtroom, with Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh filing a new order to keep media away from jurors after two said they were followed by a local news organization.
Two jurors were brought in Thursday morning to be questioned after Garsh called Hernandez and his lawyers up to have a private discussion at the bench.
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The judge said two jurors reported that a Boston television station was following their car, and one of the jurors took down a license plate number. The judge called this "very serious." She said it could have led to the dismissal of the two jurors, but it did not.
The judge gave the station until 12:15 p.m. to have the driver or higher-up testify about what happened, but later extended that deadline.
A photographer and editor who has worked at the station for 16 years testified shortly after 2 p.m. and acknowledged that he did follow a bus to find out where the jurors were parking their cars. He said he was not instructed to do so by the station, but felt it was information that his superiors would have wanted to have.
He said he had no intention of interacting with the jurors and didn't think he was doing anything wrong.
"I see now that it was a mistake," the photographer said.
Garsh ordered the photographer in question off the trial, saying he may not enter the courthouse or drive a station vehicle for the purpose of covering the case until a verdict has been rendered. She did not further sanction the television station as an entity or preclude others at the station from covering the trial.
Hernandez is charged with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée's sister. Lloyd was shot six times in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home.
Jurors have deliberated for three days and have sent six notes asking questions such as clarification about the weapon and ammunition possession charges he faces, and requesting a list of the 439 exhibits.