Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of Theranos, arrives for motion hearing on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, at the U.S. District Court House inside Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California.
Yichuan Cao | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, whose criminal fraud trial was scheduled to start in July, is asking for a delay because she’s pregnant.
In a court filing on Friday, her defense attorneys and prosecutors asked Judge Edward Davila to delay the start of her trial by six weeks to begin on August 31, 2021.
“On March 2, 2021, counsel for Defendant advised the government that Defendant is pregnant, with an expected due date in July 2021,” prosecutors and attorneys for Holmes write. “Both parties agree that, in light of this development, it is not feasible to begin the trial on July 13, 2021.”
No other details were immediately available.
The trial has already been delayed three times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Holmes’ legal team was prepared to raise the issue of mental health as part of her defense strategy. In an earlier court filing, Holmes’ attorneys wrote they intend to introduce evidence “relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on.. the issue of guilt.”
This would include expert testimony from Dr. Mindy Mechanic, a clinical psychology professor at California State University Fullerton, who according to the University’s website “focuses on the psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence.”
The judge granted federal prosecutors the ability to conduct their own examination of Holmes’ mental health and be examined by two experts, a psychologist and psychiatrist.
Holmes and her former COO Sunny Balwani are each facing a dozen criminal wire fraud charges and 20 years in prison for falsely claiming Theranos technology could run dozens of blood tests with just a drop or two of blood.
The Silicon Valley start-up was once valued at $9 billion before shutting down in 2018.