Boston station WHDH is in hot water with the judge in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial.
Two jurors determining the fate of Aaron Hernandez told Bristol County Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh that a WHDH station van was present at their parking lot Wednesday night and approached jury vehicles, an act that violates Massachusetts’ law.
Both jurors – one male, one female – remained on the jury, which entered its second full day of deliberations on whether Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd in the early morning hours of June 17, 2013.
Hernandez is a former star player for the New England Patriots and as such the case has attracted major media attention.
"It was one person in the vehicle; it was in the parking lot,” Garsh explained later of a van she identified as belonging to WHDH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Boston. "It slowed down as jurors were pulling out. It was looking at the jurors [in a way] the jurors deemed inappropriate."
Jurors park or get dropped off at a parking lot away from the Fall River Justice Center and then are transported to the courthouse in a van. It is an effort to protect them from outside influences whether it's the media, families on either side of the trial or the general public following the case.
There is no reason for a media member to be at that location.
n a statement read at the top of their noon newscast, WHDH denied they approached, spoke to or photographed any jurors.
If no one from the organization comes before the court, she will ban the entire organization from entering the courthouse here to cover the trial. Presumably she would do the same if the order came from management.
The individual driver has already been banned, Garsh said, from entering the courthouse or working from a parking spot at the courthouse assigned to the station.
Garsh can’t prevent WHDH from using the public video feed from the court or its reporters from working on the sidewalk around the courthouse.