The Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Judge Instructs Deadlocked Jurors to Keep Deliberating

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of the company Theranos that has been accused of fraud by its investors, was found guilty on two counts as a result of her “persistent pattern” in making false statements to potential investors. The trial is one more step in a long drawn-out process for handling securities fraud cases which will ultimately determine whether she receives any punishment.

After a two-week trial in which the jury was unable to reach a verdict, the judge instructed them to keep deliberating.



SAN JOSE (California) — After jurors in Elizabeth Holmes’ criminal-fraud trial claimed they couldn’t reach a unanimous judgment on three of the 11 counts against the Theranos Inc. founder, a federal judge ordered them to continue debating.

According to a letter given by the judge in court Monday morning, jurors were deadlocked on three charges after 46 hours of deliberation over almost seven days. They may have reached a unanimous decision on the remaining eight, according to the memo.

Since the jury of eight men and four women was assigned the case on Dec. 17, the memo signified an important update from the jury. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila urged the jurors to continue debating and reminded them of the directions they must follow in making their decision, as well as the prosecution’s burden of proving Ms. Holmes’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Take as much time as you need to think things through. “There’s no rush,” Judge Davila stated as he read out a “Allen charge,” also known as a “dynamite charge,” which is intended to assist deadlocked juries make a decision. He then ordered the 12 jurors back to their seats to continue deliberating, instructing them to contact the court if they had any other questions.

According to lawyers after the trial, Allen charges are often successful in getting to a verdict, and it’s hard to tell whose side the jury favors based just on the note. “It might signal they’re going to come back with a compromise judgment,” said Michele Hagan, a trial consultant who was in court Monday but was unrelated to the case.

Even if the jury is tied on three counts, it may nevertheless reach a unanimous decision on the remaining eight. If any of the eight cases result in a guilty finding, Ms. Holmes might face a jail sentence, which would be set by the court. A maximum term of 20 years in jail, with fines and restitution, is imposed on each allegation of fraud.

After the jury had left the courtroom, Ms. Holmes embraced her mother and boyfriend, Billy Evans.

Ms. Holmes is accused of purposefully deceiving investors and the public about the capabilities of Theranos’ blood-testing technology, and jurors are deliberating on 11 charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to conduct wire fraud. Two counts of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud involving investors who put hundreds of millions of dollars into the firm, and three counts of wire fraud involving patients who claimed they got erroneous blood test results are among the allegations.

Her attorneys requested that the court not read the Allen charge, claiming that it may be coercive to the jury. Prosecutors backed the judge’s decision to direct the jury to resume their deliberations.

“This has been a protracted trial, and both parties are interested in a resolution on all of the charges,” Assistant United States Attorney Robert Leach said. The trial began on September 8 with opening remarks and lasted three months.

Ms. Holmes’ lawyer, Kevin Downey, said that directing the jury to continue deliberating “risks coercion.” He said that the comment “reflects that they were capable of discriminating between counts” and that he didn’t need any more pointers.

The jury in Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ high-profile criminal trial has began deliberations on whether she meant to deceive investors and patients. Sara Randazzo of the Wall Street Journal presents highlights from Holmes’ testimony. Getty Images/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP/AFP (From the 17th to the 21st of December)

He went on to say, “They’ve been at it for a long time.”

If nothing changes after additional discussions, Judge Davila asked the two parties when it would be proper for him to declare a mistrial on the three charges on which the jury differs. The parties decided to wait and see what the jury would do next.

Since before Christmas, the jurors have been rather silent. They requested on Dec. 21 whether they might take the 38 pages of juror instructions home to review them further. Judge Davila turned down the motion, stating that all discussions must take place in a specific courtroom chamber.

The jury requested to hear audio fragments from a recorded phone conversation Ms. Holmes held with investors in December 2013, which were part of the prosecution’s case, again on Dec. 23. The jurors sat with their heads down and made notes as the lawyers played those ten video back to them.

In an email, Andrey Spektor, a former federal prosecutor in New York and now a defense lawyer who has been following the case, said the jurors “have seen and considered all the material, and it becomes a question of persuading holdouts to move over to the majority’s side.”

Theranos and the Trial of Elizabeth Holmes

Heather Somerville can be reached at [email protected], and Sara Randazzo can be reached at [email protected].

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The “elizabeth holmes theranos” is a woman who was charged with multiple counts of wire fraud and securities fraud. The trial ended in a deadlocked jury, so Judge Lewis Kaplan instructed the jurors to keep deliberating.

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