Elizabeth Holmes sentencing date delayed amid request for new trial

Theranos founder, convicted of fraud and facing 20 years in prison, requested new trial because of key prosecution witness concerns

A judge has agreed to move the sentencing date for Elizabeth Holmes to evaluate the Theranos founder’s request for a new trial.

Holmes, who was convicted on four of 11 counts of fraud for her role in the blood-testing company, was to be sentenced on 17 October. She requested a new trial in September after a key witness for the prosecution said he regretted the role he played in her conviction.

In an online hearing on Monday, the judge agreed to delay the sentencing to consider the new evidence. Holmes said in her September filing that former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff appeared at her home in August and attempted to apologize for his role in her conviction.

Rosendorff said “he tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everyone look bad” and now feels like “he had done something wrong”, the September filing said.

Holmes, 38, is currently free on bail but is facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution for each count. A new hearing regarding the Rosendorff issues will take place on the day Holmes was set to be sentenced. If a new trial is not granted, she will instead be sentenced between November and January.

The judge in the Theranos case said it was “unusual” for a witness to appear at a defendant’s home after a trial, CNN reported. “I will say I haven’t seen a case where this happened before,” he said.

After Holmes used Rosendorff’s appearance at her home to request a new trial, the former lab director filed a sworn declaration with prosecutors stating he stands by his testimony “in every respect”.

“Nevertheless, I feel compassion for Ms Holmes and Mr Balwani, and even more so for the members of their families who were not responsible for their conduct but will be affected by the punishment they may receive,” he wrote.

Sunny Balwani was convicted on all 12 fraud charges brought against him for his role at the company. Balwani, a former Theranos executive and romantic partner of Holmes, faces as many as 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on 15 November.

It is typical for defendants to make motions for a new trial after a guilty verdict, said Neama Rahmani, a former former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

“Witnesses feel bad all the time when they testify and someone is convicted, and it doesn’t mean it is grounds for a mistrial,” he said. “This is just what good lawyers do when they have lost a case.”


Kari Paul

The GuardianTramp

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