- Elizabeth Holmes’ trial was delayed Wednesday morning because some jurors raised concerns about questionnaires with personal information.
- Former Walgreens CFO, Wade Miquelon, testified about the details of the failed $140 million investment in Theranos.
- Walgreens terminated its partnership with Theranos in 2016 and eventually sued the startup.
San Jose, Calif. — The defense attorney for embattled Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes raises the issue of a fair trial amid the possibility of the jury releasing personal information, beliefs and habits.
Eleven media companies, including NBCUniversal, are asking the judge to issue a jury questionnaire. US District Court Judge Edward Davila initially told jurors that their questionnaire would remain confidential for the purpose of identifying potential bias when selecting a jury.
Davila met with each jury member individually and talked about releasing their personal information.
Kevin Downey, a lawyer for Holmes, told the judge on Wednesday he was concerned that opening the jury questionnaire at this point could interfere with Holmes’ right to a fair trial. “some of the [juror] The comments raise concerns,” Downey said.
“We need to make sure we don’t have jurors reporting feedback that is affecting their ability to serve,” Downey told the judge. Davila said he would hold hearings during the next five weeks to rule on whether the questionnaire would be removed.
Jury members completed a 28-page detailed questionnaire asking them about their media exposure, views on health care, venture capital investment, religious beliefs, and other topics.
The form also includes the jury member’s name, education level, profession, criminal record and other personal information.
NBC News legal analyst Danny Savelos said, “I think jurors would err on the side of being concerned about what’s been made public, it’s a very high-profile trial and they know they’re being investigated.” Is.”
Savlos said it’s not common to leave juror questionnaires open mid-trial but “the media is now interested in finding out what’s going on with this jury.”
The jury that decides Holmes’ fate consists of eight men and four women, as well as three substitutes. He was removed last week after a jury told him he was a Buddhist and had concerns about voting for a prison sentence.
“When they answered the questionnaire they probably had no idea that it would explode to the rest of the world,” Savelos said. “It can make them feel uncomfortable.”
Stanford Dropout Homes, who founded Theranos when he was 19, is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $3 million fine if convicted. Prosecutors allege she was involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud to mislead investors and patients about her company’s blood testing technology. Holmes has pleaded not guilty.
At its height, Theranos was worth $9 million. Holmes once attracted world leaders in business and politics who invested in Theranos and served on the board of directors. Many of them are witnesses in his criminal trial.
Former Walgreens chief financial officer, Wade Miquelon, took the stand after the morning delay. Miquelon told jurors that Walgreens invested $140 million in Theranos, placing Edison blood-testing equipment in 40 stores in Arizona and California.
Miquelon testified that he was told from in-store testing centers “better, faster, cheaper.” The executive, who worked at Walgreens from 2008 to 2014, said his understanding was that customers’ “blood would be tested on an Edison device.”
Walgreens terminated its partnership with Theranos in 2016 and eventually sued the Silicon Valley startup for breach of contract.
Miquelon was the second retail executive the jury heard in the trial. Steve Bird, the former CEO of Safeway, testified for two days that Holmes was initially enthralled by him, but was becoming frustrated with the nearly $400 million partnership after repeated delays in the rollout.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Businesshala.