FALL RIVER, Mass. — The judge in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez said Thursday a TV station would be banned from the courthouse unless someone testifies under oath about what happened when a station worker allegedly followed two jurors.
The jurors told Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh on Thursday morning that they were followed by employees of Boston station WHDH-TV the previous day, their second day of deliberations.
Garsh said it was a serious matter and a felony and could have resulted in a mistrial.
The station said in a statement it “did not approach any juror or talk to any juror. We also did not videotape or take pictures of any juror.”
The judge gave the station until 12:15 p.m. to have the driver or a higher-up testify about what happened.
“I’d like the person in the van to tell me whether anyone in the company directed him,” Garsh said.
If the driver wants to assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, “At a minimum I want someone from the company to say what investigation they’ve done,” she said.
She said if that did not happen, she had no choice but to draw the inference he was directed by the station to follow the jurors.
Garsh also banned the driver, who has not been identified, from being anywhere near the courthouse, and said she was issuing a written order that no one shall approach, follow, contact, harass, photograph or take down the license plates of jurors.
Hernandez is charged with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée’s sister.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@BostonGlobe
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