A third jury fired at Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes trial

Theranos Inc. Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the company, has left and arrived in federal court in San Jose, California on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

San Jose, California. -A third jury was dismissed after a judge said in a criminal trial at Elizabeth Holmes on Friday that it was “justified.” It leaves only two alternatives in the trial, which is expected to last until December.

Judge Edward Davila of the US District Court told Holmes’ prosecutor and defense lawyer that he had received an email from Jury No. 5 on Friday morning. The judge spoke with the jury and jury, along with US assistant lawyer Jeffrey Schenck and Holmes’ defense lawyer Kevin Downey.

“The court found a good reason to excuse the jury,” Davira told the court on his return. There was no explanation to excuse the female jury.

Another jury was elected to participate in the main bench. The jury that determines Holmes’ fate consists of eight men and four women.

“The jury raised the issue themselves and began to believe that their ability to act as a fair jury was compromised,” said Danny Sevalos, a lawyer and legal analyst at NBC News, in an interview. rice field. “Obviously, the court agreed with them,” said Sevalos, who was tracking the case but was not in court.

Holmes’ attention-grabbing trial began seven weeks ago in San Jose. The second jury was dismissed two weeks ago after revealing that Buddhist beliefs prevented him from consciously returning a verdict that could send Holmes to jail. Last month, a 19-year-old jury was fired due to financial difficulties.

Losing too many juries risks a suspicious trial. However, Cevallos said federal regulations could allow judges to return verdicts to 11 juries after the jury has begun deliberations.

Holmes acquitted 10 wire frauds and 2 wire fraud plots. Federal prosecutors have engaged Holmes and her conspirator former president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani on a decade-long multi-million dollar plan to trick investors and patients into Theranos blood testing technology. Claims.

Holmes and Balwani were indicted in 2018. Her trial was postponed many times due to pandemic-related issues and Holmes’ pregnancy. Barwani, who also pleaded not guilty, will face another trial next year.

Holmes isn’t clear, even in the case of a mistrial.

“A retrial that the government will certainly do will put Elizabeth’s life on hold again and further deplete her account,” Sevalos said. “So, as much as a suspicious trial is not a conviction, you may rather want to reach a verdict.”

Skepticism from Pfizer

After the jury left, Pfizer scientist Shane Weber ran for office. Weber evaluated Theranos in 2008 and reviewed documents related to blood testing techniques. He later concluded that Pfizer should not pursue transactions with the company.

Weber recommended in a December 2008 report summary that “Theranos has no diagnostic or clinical interest in Pfizer at this time,” but recommends reviewing the issue every six months. bottom.

Weber’s report was presented to the jury. In it, Weber wrote, “Theranos provided an inadequately prepared platform for use by home-based patients in anti-angiogenic therapy.”

Further down, he writes, “Theranos provided a non-informative, tangential, biased or evasive answer to the written technical due diligence question.”

Weber said in an email to his boss in January 2009 that Pfizer had spoken to Holmes to explain that he would not use Theranos home products for his patients.

“When she pushed back, I was polite, clear, crisp, patient and solid,” E-mail said. “She asked Pfizer to approach another name, and I politely distracted.”

The jury displayed a version of Theranos’ report that Holmes sent to Walgreens executives with the Pfizer logo. Weber testified that Pfizer did not approve the use of the logo in the report.

“Isn’t it an exaggeration to say that Pfizer has approved Theranos technology since 2010?” Asked Robert Reach, assistant US prosecutor.

Weber replied, “Um, no.”

Under cross-examination, Weber told the jury that his report on Theranos was not sent to Holmes.

“Hide things”

Also on Friday, the jury was contacted by Bryan Tolbert, who invested in Theranos through Black Diamond Ventures in 2006 and 2013. Founded by Chris Lucas, the company has invested $ 5 million in startups.

Tolbert told the jury that information about Theranos was limited at the time, but “it felt like a revolutionary technology and you wanted to save it for your own benefit.”

“Chris and I wanted more information, more financial information, and more visibility into what was happening,” Thorbert said. “I certainly thought it was intentional that they were trying to cover things up.”

look: Another Theranos Insider Testifies to Founder Elizabeth Holmes

A third jury fired at Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes trial

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