Elizabeth Holmes’ motion for a new trial is denied

Elizabeth Holmes’ motion for a new trial is denied


A federal judge denied Elizabeth Holmes’ request for a new trial, according to court filings Monday, clearing the way for the founder of failed blood-testing startup Theranos to be sentenced later this month.

The decision comes weeks after an Oct. 17 hearing in San Jose, during which Judge Edward Davila reinstated Adam Rosendorff, one of the government’s key witnesses. The hearing was to address concerns from Holmes’ defense team, which claimed that Rosendorff showed up at her home after the trial ended, asking to speak with her and expressing regret for his testimony.

At that hearing in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Rosendorff, a former director of the Theranos lab, confirmed the truth of his testimony at the Holmes trial and said the government had not influenced what he said.

In his ruling Monday, Davila denied all three of Holmes’ motions seeking a new trial. A sentencing hearing, previously scheduled for last month, is now scheduled for November 18.

Holmes, once hailed as a tech industry icon for her company’s promise to test for a range of conditions with just a few drops of blood, was found guilty in January of four counts of defrauding investors. Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and former executive at Theranos, was convicted of separate trial in July. Both face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine plus restitution on each count.

In September, Holmes’ defense team filed for a new trial after claiming that Rosendorff arrived at Holmes’ home on August 8. According to that court filing, Rosendorff did not communicate with Holmes, but she did speak with her partner, Billy Evans, who recounted the exchange in an email to Holmes’ attorneys soon after.

In Evans’ email, he wrote that Rosendorff “said when he was called as a witness that he tried to answer the questions honestly, but that prosecutors tried to make everything look bad.” The former Theranos lab director also “said he felt like he did something wrong,” Evans wrote.

Davila wrote in his order on Monday that the court “finds that the statements of Dr. Rosendorff to Mr. Evans do not stand for any of the proposed meanings that the defendant would like, and even if they did, they would not be material to the issues ” at trial.

“Accordingly, a new trial is not justified on the basis of ‘newly discovered’ evidence about the statements of Dr. Rosendorff to Mr. Evans,” Davila wrote.

In an affidavit filed in court on Sept. 21, Rosendorff wrote that he stands by his testimony in the Holmes and Balwani trials “in all respects.”

During the hearing last month, Holmes and Evans were present as Rosendorff’s defense attorney asked about his decision to visit Holmes’ home. He responded that in the weeks and months following Holmes’ conviction, he “began to feel increasingly anxious and uneasy at the prospect of a young child, a newborn, spending his formative years without a mother in his life.” (Holmes has one child with Evans.)

Rosendorff said that when he visited Holmes’ residence in August, he rang the doorbell and spoke briefly to Evans, who asked him to leave. He went to his car and started to drive away, he testified, but Evans motioned for him to roll down the window; he did, and they had a conversation, Rosendorff said, in which he “expressed sympathy for the regular employees of Theranos.”

Asked by defense attorneys if he said the prosecution was trying to make everyone look bad, Rosendorff said the prosecution was trying to paint an “angry image of Elizabeth Holmes. To the extent that other people looked bad, it was because of their association with Elizabeth.”

He said he did not recall telling Evans he felt he had done anything wrong, as Evans wrote in an email to Holmes’ lawyers after their interaction.

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