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Kyle Rittenhouse jury finishes third day of deliberations in Kenosha, with no verdict

Earlier in the day, Judge Bruce Schroeder spoke from the bench about an NBC News freelancer who was alleged to have followed jurors.

Wisconsin jurors went home Thursday without reaching verdicts on charges against Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused of killing two men during protests in Kenosha last year.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder took the bench shortly after 4 p.m. and said the panel of seven women and five men had retired for the day.

He has given jurors the freedom to set their own schedule. Deliberations are set to begin again at 9 a.m. Friday.

Earlier in the day, Schroeder revealed that a person working for NBC News had been cited for running a red light Wednesday and was alleged to have been following jurors.

Schroeder identified the man as James J. Morrison and said he was working for MSNBC, the cable network that is part of the NBC News Group.

The jurors have been leaving the courthouse every day in a bus with blackened windows.

“He had been instructed ... to follow the jury bus,” Schroeder said. “I have instructed that no one from MSNBC news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial.”

An NBC News representative said the person who was ticketed was a freelancer who had no plans to contact any of the 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,” the spokesperson said in a statement. 

“We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation,” the spokesperson said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Schroeder’s order would apply to every NBC News employee covering the trial. NBCUniversal is the parent company of both NBC News and MSNBC.

“It would go without much thinking that someone who is following a jury bus, that is an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action,” Schroeder said.

Jurors were ushered into the courthouse under normal circumstances Thursday as they picked up deliberations.

Rittenhouse is charged with reckless homicide in the slaying of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, 26, on Aug. 25, 2020, during unrest that followed the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer. 

Rittenhouse also faces three other charges for severely wounding volunteer paramedic Gaige Grosskreutz, trying to shoot an unknown man who tried to kick him in the head and being a threat to another man who was in the line of fire when he killed Rosenbaum.

Rittenhouse, who pleaded not guilty, testified in his own defense last week and said all the shootings were acts of self-defense

The trial has drawn national attention focusing on issues of gun rights and race.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who has pleaded for calm, has authorized deploying 500 National Guard members in anticipation of post-verdict protests. 

A handful of Kenosha public school campuses near the courthouse have gone to full online instruction so students are kept away possible unrest, officials said.

Brass Community School, Frank Elementary School, Harborside Academy and Reuther Central High School are all on virtual learning through Friday "out of an abundance of caution due to the proximity of school boundaries to the courthouse and the number of students who walk to and from school," the Kenosha Unified School District said in a statement.