The 12-person jury, made up of five men and seven women, deliberated from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. CT on five felony charges related to the killing of two people and the wounding of another during last year’s unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Jurors have deliberated for an estimated 23 hours total on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The jury is expected to resume deliberations at 9 a.m. CT Friday.
In court Thursday, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder said a man was driving about a block behind the jury bus on Wednesday evening and went through a red light. The man was pulled over by police and told them he worked for NBC News and had been instructed by his boss to follow the jury bus, the judge said.
Schroeder said no one from MSNBC would be permitted into the building for the rest of the trial as the matter is under further investigation. He said following a jury bus is an “extremely serious matter” and would be referred to authorities for further action.
“This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who is following the jury bus — that is a very, it’s an extremely serious matter and it will be referred to the proper authorities for further action,” Schroeder said.
The Kenosha Police Department tweeted about the incident on Thursday morning.
“Last night a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet was briefly taken into custody and issued several traffic related citations. Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors. This incident is being investigated much further,” police said. “There was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained.”
An NBC News spokesperson told CNN’s Brian Stelter the producer was a freelancer and never intended to contact or photograph jurors.
“Last night, a freelancer received a traffic citation. 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,” NBC News said in a statement. “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
Jury requests to rewatch video evidence
Prosecutors received a high-definition version of the drone video mid-trial but Rittenhouse’s defense team says it received a compressed, lower-quality version from the prosecution, which described it as a technical glitch. The defense learned about the discrepancy after testimony ended and so asked the judge to declare a mistrial.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he testified.
Rittenhouse is charged with five felonies: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Jurors are also able to consider lesser offenses for two of the five counts. If convicted on the most serious charge, Rittenhouse could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Schroeder dismissed a misdemeanor weapons possession charge and a non-criminal curfew violation prior to deliberations.
What happened in the trial
“That is what provokes this entire incident,” Binger said in closing arguments. “When the defendant provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.”
The prosecution portrayed the three other people who confronted the teen as “heroes” trying to stop what they believed to be an active shooting. Binger also questioned the teenager’s decision to take a gun into the city in the first place, calling him a “chaos tourist.”
In closing arguments, defense attorney Mark Richards said Rittenhouse feared for his life when he opened fire.
“Every person who was shot was attacking Kyle. One with a skateboard, one with his hands, and one with his feet, one with a gun,” Richards said. “Hands and feet can cause great bodily harm.”
The trial featured more than a dozen videos from the night that showed what happened before, during and after the shootings. Most of the facts of what happened that night were not up for debate — rather, at the heart of the trial was the analysis of Rittenhouse’s actions and whether they can be considered “reasonable.”
The prosecution faced an uphill challenge in the case because Wisconsin law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rittenhouse did not act in self-defense. But there are limits to a self-defense claim.
“The defendant may intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if the defendant reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself,” the jury instructions explain.
CNN’s Mike Hayes, Jason Kravarik and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.