Yahoo Finance's Alexis Keenan joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss news that Elizabeth Holmes is pursuing a new trial and what led to that decision.
- Well, convicted Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, founder of now-defunct blood testing company Theranos, is asking for a new trial. In a series of court requests this week, Holmes says guilty verdicts should be tossed out to correct errors from her high-profile case.
Alexis Keenan has been covering this case from the very beginning. She joins us now. Alexis, what does this all mean in terms of Elizabeth Holmes' future? And how likely is this that things could get tossed out?
ALEXIS KEENAN: So these are tough. It's really hard to get a trial overturned that was the result of a jury verdict. But here's what's happening.
There are three requests from Elizabeth Holmes for a new trial. This comes eight months after her jury in January found her guilty on four counts of fraud for duping investors about the capabilities of her blood testing company, Theranos.
So she brings these variety of bases proposing to the judge-- that's who will decide this-- in the hopes that he can grant her a new trial, that she'll persuade the judge here for a redo, essentially, redo the whole entire trial. Remember back in January, she was found guilty of those four fraud charges. But also, she was acquitted on four charges. And also, the jury came to no verdict at all on three other charges.
So here's what she's saying in her motions. She's saying that new evidence has come to light since her verdict. And she lays those out in these filings.
She says, for one, the government shifted its position regarding her claims that her co-defendant and former boyfriend and COO of Theranos, Sunny Balwani, had abused her and controlled a lot of her actions at the time during the time that she was running Theranos, saying that the prosecution on one hand told jurors to disregard the claims of abuse and of control during Holmes' trial, but then did a flip during Balwani's trial, and really told jurors that they could focus on that, and they could infer that the close relationship between the two would mean that Balwani would have a lot of influence over Holmes. So she says that that is an error that needs to be corrected.
Second, she says that the government withheld some evidence that would favor Elizabeth Holmes' defense. These are emails that have to do with a laboratory database at Theranos that showed its percentage of failed versus successful test results. So she said she should have been able to use that. In Balwani's case, he did get some of that evidence. She says that needs to be corrected, too.
And last, she says that her former laboratory director, Adam Rosendorff, who testified on behalf of the government at her trial, that he came and talked with her partner, Billy Evans, unannounced, and said that the government mischaracterized his testimony and the testimony of others. He said that the government made everybody look bad and made Theranos look worse than it really was.
And he has this very strange quote. And this is just according to Billy Evans, saying that he tried to answer questions honestly, but that the prosecution made things look really bad. So I don't know what he meant. And hopefully we'll find out in a hearing that should be forthcoming to find out what exactly Rosendorff meant by saying he tried to testify honestly.
- When are we expecting that hearing? What are the next steps?
ALEXIS KEENAN: Yeah. So there's a hearing that is scheduled for the 3rd of October. And that comes just before her sentencing date, which is October 17.
And what's going to happen there is the court is going to look at these claims. And they're going to apply two different standards for these different arguments.
But in essence, Holmes is going to have to show that absent these problems that she says happened during her trial, that there would have been a different result. And there's a really fine line, a razor thin change, between the two different standards. But basically, she has to show that the jury would have found otherwise.
But look, there's still risk in this. She had no verdict at all on three of the counts. So if she were to be retried, she can't be retried on the counts for which she was acquitted. But she certainly can be retried on the guilty verdicts as well as those no verdicts. So it's definitely a gamble here.
- Adding yet another dock to the long list of trials in cases you're following. Alexis, thanks so much for that.