KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS)-- Jurors have completed a third day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial.
Jurors have spent approximately 23 hours deliberating over the past three days. One woman juror on Thursday asked if she could take the jury instructions home with them, and the judge said she could, but could not discuss those instructions or the case itself with anyone.
As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, the defense raised some objections – fearing the juror would be at home overanalyzing the case.
At the end of the day, defense attorney Mark Richards said this is the longest deliberation he has ever had in his career as a defense trial attorney. When asked what he thinks is going on in the jury room, he noted that the jury were sitting in two groups of six – leading to speculation that there may be a split.
The jury will return to resume deliberations at 9 a.m. on Friday.
Meantime, the judge banned MSNBC from the courthouse, after police suspected one of their freelancers of following the jury bus and trying to take pictures of the jurors.
Judge Bruce Schroeder said James J. Morrison was questioned and ticketed after being caught following the bus used to bring jurors to and from the courthouse, suspected of trying to take pictures of the jury on Wednesday evening. In a statement, the network acknowledged Morrison was a freelancer but "never contacted or intended to contact jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them."
Schroeder called it a "very extremely serious matter" given that the jury is being kept anonymous. The jurors are transported to and from court in a bus that has its windows covered to prevent the jury from seeing any protests outside the courthouse.
The judge said Morrison ran a red light while following the bus, and while being questioned said his boss told him to follow the jury bus, but it's not clear why. "This is a very serious matter, and I don't know what the ultimate truth of it is," Schroeder said.
Schroeder said the incident remains under investigation, but MSNBC staff will not be allowed in the courthouse for the duration of the trial.
Kenosha Police said the man was issued several traffic violations.
"Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors. This incident is being investigated much further," police said in a statement. "There was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained."
Jurors completed a second day of deliberations on Wednesday without reaching a verdict, but spent about 45 minutes reviewing video evidence from the case. Issues surrounding the video prompted the defense to call for a mistrial again.
For the first time Thursday, we got a glimpse into the minds of the 12-person jury. They submitted five handwritten questions to the court, with juror 54 identified as the presiding juror.
But no question more critical during the three days of deliberations than their request to see an enhanced drone video about two hours into their second day of deliberations on Wednesday. The video had been presented at trial earlier.
Prosecutors said jurors should be able to watch any of the videos of the shootings as many times as they want, but defense attorneys objected to allowing the jury to view drone video of Rittenhouse shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum, and the defense team is seeking a mistrial over that video, claiming prosecutors provided them with a lower quality version of the video, which was improper.
"We got a compressed version, which was not of the quality that they had," said defense attorney Corey Chirafisi. "That doesn't strike me as fair."
This was the second call for a mistrial, which prosecutors rebuffed and called "inappropriate."
Prosecutors said they sent the defense the same version of the video they received, and believe because it was being transferred from a prosecutor's Apple phone to a defense attorney's Android phone, the file was compressed during transfer. When both sides later learned the defense had received a lower quality version of the video, prosecutors provided the defense with the higher-quality version.
Schroeder said he would let jurors watch the drone video if they want to see it, but he also wants to hear from expert witnesses outside the presence of the jury regarding the dispute over the quality of the video the defense team received, and if there are problems with the handling of the video, it could cause the case to fall apart in the event of an appeal.
Jurors heard from more than 30 witnesses during two weeks of testimony.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces five felony charges in the August 2020 shootings that killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, during a chaotic night of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time of the shootings.
A total of 500 National Guard troops are standing by in case of possible unrest once a verdict is reached.
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