The jury weighing fraud charges against former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes departed court Wednesday without reaching a verdict after six days of deliberations. It won't resume discussions until after the upcoming New Year's holiday weekend. The eight men and four women on the jury had been expected to continue deliberations on Thursday morning, but a court filing after they left disclosed they'll be taking a break until Monday, the AP reports. There was no explanation for the decision to pause deliberations. The jury had already been scheduled to be off Friday, a federal court holiday.
The latest round of discussions occurred against a backdrop of intrigue raised by a closed-door meeting involving Holmes' attorneys and the judge presiding over the case. US District Judge Edward Davila held the hearing Tuesday morning with two of Holmes' lawyers, Kevin Downey and Lance Wade, along with two of the prosecutors, Jeffrey Schenk and Robert Leach, according to a court filing late Tuesday night. Holmes wasn't present at the 23-minute hearing. The hearing transcript has been sealed, leaving the topics that were discussed a mystery. But it's not unusual for plea agreement discussions to take place while a jury deliberates over charges, especially the longer it takes to reach a verdict.
Holmes, 37, is facing 11 criminal charges alleging that she duped investors and patients by hailing her company's blood-testing technology as a medical breakthrough when in fact it was prone to wild errors. If she's convicted, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison. The jurors have been meeting in a San Jose, Calif., federal courthouse after absorbing reams of evidence in a three-month trial that captivated Silicon Valley. (This Theranos investor has an innovative plan to get his money back.)