This is not how court works, though. They pull the jury if the judge wants to ask the defendant something like this. They don't pull the audience out. Merlino would have answered the judge in front of every reporter covering this trial--and since every indication suggests they either don't show or sleep through it, this happened first thing in the morning.
Point being, if there was a reporter there, he watched the full exchange and heard the court reporter read out the transcript. Meanwhile, the jury sat in a back room for two hours and wondered what had happened...and juror #9 surely said...nothing...right?