Jurors in Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial are handed case and begin deliberations as arguments conclude

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

Peter DaSilva | Reuters

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

The case was handed to the jury round 4:40 p.m. PT on Friday, after Decide 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 ultimate plea earlier on Friday, arguing that his consumer ought to be acquitted on all counts.

“On the first signal of bother, the crooks money out, criminals cowl up and rats flee a sinking ship,” Downey mentioned. “She did not do any of that.”

Downey mentioned Holmes, who’s now 37, devoted her life to constructing Theranos and by no means supposed to defraud buyers. He reminded jurors that Holmes gave up a university training, gave up her youth and misplaced friendships as a result of “she believed that she constructed a know-how that would 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. “Girls and gents, that’s who this lady is.”

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

Rupert Murdoch leaves the Information Company constructing along with his son Lachlan Murdoch (R) on July 21, 2016 in New York Metropolis.

Getty Pictures

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

“Individuals misplaced cash. I do not mince phrases about that,” Downey mentioned. “Ms. Holmes actually didn’t intend for individuals to lose cash. That is a foul occasion and a failure on her half.”

The buyers had been refined individuals who “knew this was a brand new enterprise, they knew it was speculative and so they knew it was a threat,” 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 accomplice, Billy Evans.

‘The opposite 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 illness that plagued Theranos wasn’t an absence of effort, it was an absence of honesty,” mentioned Assistant U.S. Lawyer John Bostic. “It wasn’t on the floor stage, it was on the high.”

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

“We admire individuals who set bold objectives and got down to obtain them,” Bostic mentioned. “This case went dangerous for Theranos and Ms. Holmes when she made the opposite alternative, when she refused to simply accept failure and turned to breaking the regulation as a substitute.”

To ensure that Holmes to be discovered responsible, the jury should unanimously resolve past an affordable doubt that the entrepreneur, as soon as hailed because the youngest self-made female billionaire, supposed to defraud buyers and sufferers.

Danny Cevallos, an NBC Information 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 introduced.

“With a lot proof and so many communications to pour over, the jury has a variety of proof to undergo in the event that they wish to,” Cevallos mentioned. “However, they could stroll again into that jury room, and when the door shuts, they could take a look at one another and say, ‘None of us imagine a phrase she mentioned.'”

A obvious omission within the protection’s closing argument was any point out of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ former enterprise accomplice 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 accountable for overseeing the Theranos lab and funds.

Balwani faces the identical costs as Holmes and is ready to face trial early subsequent 12 months. He additionally pleaded not responsible.

Downey did not utter Balwani’s title on Friday.

“It might damage her,” Cevallos mentioned. “I believe jurors will likely be within the jury room and ask one another, ‘Why did not they point out all this trauma from Balwani in closing if it was so necessary to them?'”

Bostic opted to come back again to the subject in his rebuttal. He instructed the jury that whereas the abuse testimony was tough to listen to, it mustn’t sway their determination.

“Within the absence of any proof linking that have to the charged conduct, you must put it out of your thoughts,” Bostic mentioned. “Ms. Holmes didn’t want encouragement from Mr Balwani with the intention to be misleading.”

WATCH: Closing arguments in the Elizabeth Holmes trial


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