SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A surprising shakeup happened at the Elizabeth Holmes trial Wednesday when a juror admitted to the judge that she did not want to be responsible for deciding if Holmes is guilty.
The trial began on Sept. 8 and is slated to last for more than three months, so the case is are nowhere near when jurors will deliberate for a verdict.
But juror No. 4 said she was already experiencing major anxiety from serving on a jury that will decide Holmes’ fate.
The former Theranos CEO faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of federal fraud and conspiracy charges against her.
Juror No. 4 told the judge that she is Buddhist and she has religious reasons for not wanting to cast a “guilty” or “not guilty” vote.
From her comments in the courtroom, juror No. 4 also indicated that she felt sympathy for Holmes because “she is so young.”
Holmes is 37-years-old and gave birth to her first baby shortly before the trial began.
“I don’t know if I am 100% ready to participate in something like this,” she told judge Davila.
The jury is tasked with deciding whether the fallen biotech star is guilty of committing one of the biggest fraud schemes in Silicon Valley history.
Holmes was a 19-year-old Stanford University dropout when she founded her company, Theranos.
She wooed high-powered investors to throw millions of dollars into Theranos with claims that she had invented a box that could produce blood test results from just a finger prick of blood.
Judge Edward Davila told juror No. 4 that a defendant’s age is not supposed to be considered in any way by a jury.
After hearing the juror’s candid thoughts and feelings, the judge dismissed her from the trial and replaced her with an alternate.
This is the second time that a juror has left Holmes’ trial. Another juror was excused early on because of financial hardship.
The trial is now down to 12 active jurors and only three alternates. Holmes’ trial will resume on Oct. 12.