The jury responsible for the first Aaron Hernandez murder case has now been deliberating for two full days and part of another. Because of something that happened after the first full day of deliberations, a Boston TV news photographer has been ordered to stay out of the courthouse until a verdict is reached.
Via the Boston Globe, Judge E. Susan Garsh has banned Robert Cusanelli from entering the Bristol County Superior Court building and from driving a WHDH-TV vehicle for the purpose of doing reporting work on the case.
Cusanelli admitted while testifying that he followed the bus that takes the jurors to their cars. He said he “thought it would be a good idea” to figure out where they parked.
Cusanelli’s cover was blown because he opted to follow the bus in a van bearing conspicuously the letters W, H, D, and H, in that specific order. He said in court that he has made no effort to contact or interact with the jurors.
WHDH separately explained that it hopes to be able to win the race to interview jurors after the case, a common practice following the rendering of a verdict in a high-profile prosecution. Judge Garsh warned all news organizations that any attempt to contact jurors while the case is pending could result in serious criminal sanctions.
“To all of you, you cannot approach, question, harass, or follow any juror and there are state felony statues that prohibit any form of juror harassment,” Judge Garsh said.
The deliberations will continue on Friday at 9:00 a.m. ET. If a unanimous verdict can’t be reached, a mistrial will be declared. And the entire case possibly would be tried all over again, with a new jury.