U.S. District Judge Edward Davila did not explain why he met lawyers on both sides of the case behind closed doors as a masked – and confused – audience sat in a crowded courtroom.
Holmes’ latest round of testimony came after her lawyers called her to the stand during the final hour of Friday’s proceedings in what was the most dramatic moment in a high-profile trial that began early September.
Anticipation of Holmes returning to the stand on Monday drew large crowds outside the courthouse in San Jose, Calif., Where the trial is taking place, with the first person lining up around 1 a.m. The 35 or so people who entered the Small Courtroom on Monday included one of Holmes’ biggest foils – former Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, who wrote a series of explosive articles from October 2015 which sparked the collapse of Theranos and the ensuing criminal case.
Answering friendly questions posed by one of his attorneys gives Holmes a chance to influence the jurors who will determine his fate. If convicted, Holmes, a former billionaire who is now 37, could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
After being prompted by her lawyer to explain some technical terms about blood testing, Holmes looked directly at the jury sitting a few feet to her right and delved into the subject as if she were a teacher speaking to her students.
After dropping the mask she wore as she sat stoically during the trial, Holmes also occasionally smiled while discussing the studies. She also attempted to make eye contact with the 14 jurors, including two deputies, as they went out during a morning break and later at the end of the day.
The studies, conducted with several large pharmaceutical companies from 2008 to 2010, showed that the third generation of a Theranos device known as the Edison gave mostly encouraging results that gave Holmes reason to believe it and the company were on the road to success.
“The results have been excellent,” a report said. Another concluded that the “results were accurate”.
Another exchange between Holmes and his attorney, Kevin Downey, underscored the rote tone of Monday’s testimony. Prompted by Downey, Holmes explained that she defined success as something that “has successfully achieved the goal of a program.”
Holmes ‘positive reports and testimony seemed primarily to provide insight into Holmes’ state of mind in an effort to explain why she ultimately became so enthusiastic about Theranos technology, which she promised would be. able to search for hundreds of potential illnesses and other health issues. problems with only a few drops of blood taken from a finger prick.
But in 2015, Theranos’ own lab director concluded that the company’s technology was malfunctioning in a way that produced misleading results that could potentially put patients at risk. Theranos ended up running the tests on traditional blood testing machines while continuing to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires and less sophisticated investors.
Other evidence presented at the trial showed Holmes disseminated misleading information in 2013 about an alleged partnership with Pfizer and other drug companies that helped Theranos raise funds.
Having only spent around three hours on the stand so far, Holmes’ testimony should eventually delve into more intriguing territory.
Before the trial began, Holmes’ attorneys filed documents indicating that she intended to blame any misconduct at Theranos on her former lover and former CEO of the company, Sunny Balwani. The documents claim that Balwani, who is facing a separate criminal trial next year, manipulated Holmes through “intimate partner violence.” Balwani’s lawyer called the allegations baseless.
Holmes’ testimony will resume Tuesday morning and is expected to continue next week.