How Long Will the Elizabeth Holmes Jury Deliberate?

The founder of the failed blood-testing start-up Theranos faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of fraud.

The founder of the failed blood-testing start-up Theranos faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of fraud.


Elizabeth Holmes, second from left, exited federal court in San Jose last week.Credit…Nic Coury/Associated Press

The much-anticipated moment has arrived.

After nearly four months in court, the jury in the trial of the former Silicon Valley superstar Elizabeth Holmes began deliberations on Monday. The group of eight men and four women will decide whether Holmes — whose blood-testing company, Theranos, collapsed in scandal — should be convicted of 11 counts of fraud-related charges.

We don’t know how long the jurors will take to arrive at their conclusion. The soonest the verdict could come is today: They are scheduled to reconvene in a federal courthouse in San Jose at 8:30 a.m. There are no court proceedings on Wednesday, but the jury would resume on Thursday if needed.

The jurors must reach a unanimous decision, and failing to do so could result in a mistrial. Some legal experts have said that longer deliberations suggest things may go Holmes’s way.

If convicted, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison. The sentencing would come at a later date.

Since beginning in late summer, Holmes’s trial has dragged on for weeks longer than originally expected. (You can catch up with my colleagues’ stories on opening statements, James Mattis’s testimony, the prosecution’s arguments, the defense’s case and closing arguments.)

Arguably the most stunning moment of the trial came toward the end, when Holmes took the stand in her own defense. Over several days, she presented her version of Theranos’s downfall, saying that she believed the company’s technology worked and that she had been controlled by Ramesh Balwani, her former business partner.

Balwani, who was also her longtime boyfriend and faces a separate trial next year, had controlled every aspect of her life, Holmes testified. She also accused him of sexual abuse, which he has denied.

On the stand, Holmes cried and her voice broke. She said she had begun to rely on Balwani, who is nearly 20 years older than her, after she had been raped while a student at Stanford.

Though it was difficult to read jurors’ expressions through their masks, the testimony awoke a sleepy courtroom, my colleagues told me.

“The prosecution’s case has been all about presenting cold, hard facts,” said Erin Griffith, who has been covering the trial. “Holmes’s testimony introduced emotion and narrative. It is certainly more memorable to jurors than the details of a profit and loss statement or an immunoassay validation report.”

A conviction for Holmes could send shock waves through Silicon Valley and scare executives into treading more lightly when pitching to investors. But it’s possible an acquittal could have the same result.

Take Ellen Pao, another tech executive. In 2015, Pao lost her discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, but her case still brought longstanding gender issues to the surface and forced firms to start making changes, Griffith pointed out.

“The Holmes trial could have a similar effect, regardless of its outcome,” Griffith told me. “Or, start-ups could keep raising more and more money at higher valuations with less progress to show, as they have for the last year and a half.”

Only time will tell.

For more:

The verdict on the Holmes trial makeover.

How Holmes soured the media on Silicon Valley.

The Holmes trial exposes investors’ carelessness.


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The latest on Omicron and the pandemic

With Omicron now accounting for a majority of new virus cases, the United States faces another Covid Christmas.

President Biden is expected to announce today major new steps to confront the surge.

Can I still see my family? Advice from experts.

A growing list of holiday events in Los Angeles are being canceled, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Check case rates in your county.

You tested positive. Now what?


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The rest of the news

Crime crackdown: Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to spend over $300 million to fight the increase in crime across California, The Associated Press reports.

Abortion sanctuary: State lawmakers are preparing countermeasures to expand access to abortion, focusing first on resurrecting a bill that would eliminate costly co-pays, The Los Angeles Times reports.

State sues Walmart: California prosecutors say the retail giant has been illegally dumping hazardous waste for years, The Associated Press reports.

Stormy week: Rain and snow will affect the state through Sunday, The Associated Press reports.


Eve Babitz: The bard of Los Angeles, an enthusiastic writer of all things pleasurable, died at 78.

SpaceX: Since July, at least 132 employees at the company’s headquarters have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Weather warning: Between Wednesday and Sunday, major storms are expected to deposit several inches of snow in Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks.


Weather warning: Between Thursday and Sunday, major storms are expected to bring rain and snow to the Greater Lake Tahoe area as well as parts of Lassen, Plumas and Sierra Counties.

Yuba County students investigated: Eight high schoolers were photographed posing with swastikas and other hate symbols, The Sacramento Bee reports.

Earthquake: A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast near Eureka in Humboldt County on Monday, The Associated Press reports.

Man arrested in cold case: San Francisco police officers arrested a man in the killing of Marissa Rolf Harvey, who was strangled near Golden Gate Park 43 years ago.


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What you get

What $1.3 million buys you in California.


Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

What we’re eating

Hangover-free, nonalcoholic ros?s.


Credit…Drew Kelly for The New York Times

Where we’re traveling

Today’s travel tip comes from Kevin Werner:

“I recently traveled from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco to Los Angeles by bicycle, a wonderful way to immerse in the majesty of California’s deservedly legendary coast. An overnight stay in Ragged Point, at the southern tip of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and just a bit north of Hearst Castle and San Simeon, was a highlight of my journey. Ragged Point is remote, beautiful and sublimely peaceful, boasting hiking trails and unparalleled scenery.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

What we’re reading

So much happened in 2021. But did it?


James Wallington, left, and Will Jardell.Credit…Vivien Killilea/Getty Images For Project Angel Food

And before you go, some good news

The love story of Will Jardell and James Wallington begins in the most Los Angeles of ways — during a television audition.

Jardell, an aspiring model, was vying to compete on the reality show “America’s Next Top Model” when he passed Wallington, a casting assistant, in a hallway at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

“Howdy,” said Jardell, a native Texan. “Find me.”

Both men say the moment was love at first sight. Read about their recent wedding in The Times.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Child of cooking fame (5 letters).

Jack Kramer and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at

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