A judge in the Colorado movie theater shooting trial dismissed three jurors on Tuesday over concerns they had been tainted by a prosecutor’s tweet last week.
District Attorney George Brauchler’s tweet was posted Thursday, referencing a physchiatrist’s interview with the gunman, James Holmes, who killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others at an Aurora theater in 2012, Reuters reports. Jurors were repeatedly reminded by the judge not to read media reports or related information on social media in order to minimize any bias.
Though Brauchler’s tweet was quickly deleted, a juror reported on Tuesday to Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour that another juror had spoken about the tweet on Monday, and that two other jurors had heard the discussion. After speaking with the jurors involved, Samour dismissed the three jurors but not the one who reported it all.
None of the 24 jurors selected in April have been identified. Of those chosen, only 12 will decide the case, while the remaining dozen will serve as alternates, though the jurors do not know to which group they belong. Samour did not say whether the dismissed jurors were alternates or active jurors.