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World NewsJury in Elizabeth Holmes trial handed case, begin deliberations

Jury in Elizabeth Holmes trial handed case, begin deliberations

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal courtroom in San Jose, California, December 17, 2021.

Peter DaSilva | Reuters

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The 12 jurors who will determine the destiny of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes are left to contemplate the testimony from 31 witnesses over three months as they begin their deliberations.

The case was handed to the jury round 4:40 p.m. PT on Friday, after Judge Edward Davila completed studying the directions. Holmes, who began her blood-testing firm in 2003 and dropped out of Stanford to construct it, is charged with 9 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces as much as 20 years in jail if convicted. She pleaded not responsible.

Kevin Downey, Holmes’ protection lawyer, made his last plea earlier on Friday, arguing that his shopper needs to be acquitted on all counts.

“At the first sign of trouble, the crooks cash out, criminals cover up and rats flee a sinking ship,” Downey mentioned. “She didn’t do any of that.”

Downey mentioned Holmes, who’s now 37, devoted her life to constructing Theranos and by no means supposed to defraud traders. He reminded jurors that Holmes gave up a university schooling, gave up her youth and misplaced friendships as a result of “she believed that she built a technology that could change the world.” 

He emphasised that Holmes’ wealth was wrapped up in Theranos’ success and that she by no means offered any of her shares.

“She went down with that ship when it went down,” Downey mentioned. “Ladies and gentlemen, that is who this woman is.”

Downey spent over three hours trying to knock down the federal government’s case. He mentioned Holmes did not deliberately misrepresent the corporate’s financials to draw cash from traders.

Rupert Murdoch leaves the News Corporation constructing along with his son Lachlan Murdoch (R) on July 21, 2016 in New York City.

Getty Images

Over the course of a decade, Theranos raised $945 million from high-profile traders, together with News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, Don Lucas and the household of Betsy DeVos, the previous schooling secretary. Some of these traders testified as authorities witnesses.

“People lost money. I don’t mince words about that,” Downey mentioned. “Ms. Holmes certainly did not intend for people to lose money. That’s a bad event and a failure on her part.”

The traders had been refined individuals who “knew this was a new venture, they knew it was speculative and they knew it was a risk,” Downey mentioned.

Holmes sat between her attorneys contained in the San Jose courtroom on Friday. She was flanked by her dad and mom and her companion, Billy Evans.

‘The different alternative’

After the protection wrapped up its closing argument, the prosecution got here again with its rebuttal and put the highlight again on Holmes and the extent of management she exercised over each facet of her firm.

“The disease that plagued Theranos wasn’t a lack of effort, it was a lack of honesty,” mentioned Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bostic. “It wasn’t at the ground level, it was at the top.”

Theranos should not be confused for a corporation that failed regardless of exhausting work, Bostic mentioned.

“We admire people who set ambitious goals and set out to achieve them,” Bostic mentioned. “This case went bad for Theranos and Ms. Holmes when she made the other choice, when she refused to accept failure and turned to breaking the law instead.”

In order for Holmes to be discovered responsible, the jury should unanimously determine past an inexpensive doubt that the entrepreneur, as soon as hailed because the youngest self-made female billionaire, supposed to defraud traders and sufferers.

Danny Cevallos, an NBC News authorized analyst, mentioned the jury has a mountain of proof to contemplate, given the variety of witnesses who took the stand and the trove of paperwork offered.

“With so much evidence and so many communications to pour over, the jury has a lot of evidence to go through if they want to,” Cevallos mentioned. “On the other hand, they may walk back into that jury room, and when the door shuts, they may look at each other and say, ‘None of us believe a word she said.'”

A obtrusive omission in the protection’s closing argument was any point out of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ former enterprise companion and ex-boyfriend. Balwani was a centerpiece of Holmes’ testimony. She bought emotional telling the jury that Balwani abused her bodily and emotionally. She mentioned he exerted management over her and was answerable for overseeing the Theranos lab and funds.

Balwani faces the identical prices as Holmes and is about to face trial early subsequent yr. He additionally pleaded not responsible.

Downey did not utter Balwani’s title on Friday.

“It could hurt her,” Cevallos mentioned. “I think jurors will be in the jury room and ask each other, ‘Why didn’t they mention all this trauma from Balwani in closing if it was so important to them?'”

Bostic opted to return again to the subject in his rebuttal. He informed the jury that whereas the abuse testimony was troublesome to listen to, it mustn’t sway their choice.

“In the absence of any evidence linking that experience to the charged conduct, you should put it out of your mind,” Bostic mentioned. “Ms. Holmes did not need encouragement from Mr Balwani in order to be deceptive.”

WATCH: Closing arguments in the Elizabeth Holmes trial


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