By MICHELLE R. SMITH, Associated Press
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) _ One fewer juror appeared in the jury box Wednesday in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez after two snow days off.
When the jury returned, just 16 jurors appeared: 10 women and six men. As of last week, there were 17 jurors.
Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh began Wednesday’s session by saying she received a note from a juror about an unspecified issue. She brought the lawyers in the case up to the bench, along with Hernandez, then asked a juror to come in and briefly questioned her.
The questioning was done outside the hearing of the public assembled in the courtroom.
The juror then left, and the judge called all the jurors to come into court.
Only 16 returned to the box. The juror who was questioned was among them.
Garsh made no further mention of the note or the missing juror. It was not immediately clear Wednesday morning what happened.
Hernandez is charged in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins.
Last week, Garsh dismissed one of the members of the jury, saying there was evidence she had previously discussed evidence in the case and had expressed her opinion that it would be difficult to convict without a murder weapon, which has never been found.
Jury selection in the case took several weeks, and more than 1,100 people were in the jury pool.
Ultimately, 12 members of the jury will decide Hernandez’s fate. Alternates will be decided randomly from the jurors that remain immediately before deliberations begin.
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