In a hearing on Monday evaluating Elizabeth Holmes’s request for a new trial in her fraud case, a key witness stood by his previous testimony.
The Theranos founder was set to be sentenced on 17 October after being convicted on four of 11 counts of fraud for her role in the blood-testing company, but the sentencing was rescheduled after a key witness for the prosecution said he regretted the role he played in her conviction.
That witness, former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff, appeared in August at the home Holmes shares with her partner William Evans to express his remorse, her lawyers claimed in a motion for a new trial.
Rosendorff said at the time “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”, a September filing on the incident said.
In his court appearance on Monday, Rosendorff said his testimony during the trial was truthful, echoing a sworn declaration he filed with prosecutors after his visit to the home stating he stands by his testimony “in every respect”.
In questioning by US district judge Edward Davila on Monday, Rosendorff said he felt remorseful about the possibility that Holmes’s young child with Evans would be without her mother if Holmes is sentenced to prison. Rosendorff added, without explanation, that “it is my understanding she is pregnant again”, but that information could not be immediately verified.
“I don’t want to help Ms Holmes,” Rosendorff added. “The only person that can help her is herself. She needs to pay her debt to society.”
Holmes gave birth to her first child with Evans in August 2021, weeks before her trial began. Her legal team was relying heavily on Rosendorff’s post-trial action to help the former entrepreneur avoid a prison sentence.
Davila 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, and granted Holmes a hearing to consider the new evidence.
Holmes, 38, is currently out on bail awaiting her sentencing. 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.”
Davila did not make a ruling on the motion on Monday but will do so in the coming week. The judge had already set a new sentencing date for Holmes for 18 November before the Monday hearing began. If the guilty verdict is upheld, she faces 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution for each count.
Meanwhile her co-conspirator and former romantic partner Sunny Balwani is scheduled to be sentenced on 15 November after he was convicted on all 12 fraud charges brought against him for his role at the company.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.