The judge presiding in Kyle Rittenhouse’s double homicide trial banned all MSNBC reporters from the courtroom on Thursday (Nov. 18) after an alleged producer with the network was accused of following jurors. According to reports, a man, who identified himself as James Morrison, was pulled over on Wednesday (Nov. 17) after allegedly running a red light while following a bus transporting jurors from the trial.
“He stated that he had been instructed by [a superior] in New York to follow the jury bus,” Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said Thursday about Morrison, who claimed to be a producer for MSNBC.
Police also confirmed there was an “incident with a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet” and said Morrison was issued several traffic citations.
“Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors. This incident is being investigated much further,” police added.
Schroeder called the incident an “extremely serious matter” and said no other MSNBC journalists would be allowed to attend the trial.
“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” he said.
In a statement obtained by CNN’s Brian Stelter, an NBC representative revealed that a freelance reporter hired by the news organization did receive a traffic citation on Wednesday. However, the representative denied that the person was attempting to follow or photograph jurors.
“While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations and never photographed or intended to photograph them,” the statement read. “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
Jury deliberations for Rittenhouse’s trial continued for a third day on Thursday. The Antioch, Illinois native currently faces five felony charges, including intentional homicide and reckless homicide, after Judge Schroeder dismissed his misdemeanor weapons charge.