Holmes’ Mental State at Issue
CBJ — Questions about the mental state of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes have now become front and centre in what will eventually be a criminal trial next year.
A federal judge has ordered Holmes to be examined by independently-selected U.S. government psychiatrists after lawyers defending her against criminal fraud charges said they may offer evidence she suffered from a mental defect.
Upon hearing the defense’s plans for introducing Holmes’ possible mental disorder, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila overruled defense objections to letting a psychologist and psychiatrist examine the 36-year-old Holmes for 14 hours over two days, and having the examinations recorded on video.
The independent review of Holmes’ psychological and mental well-being will determine the validity of what was brought forth by the defense and whether it will be a consideration moving forward with her trial.
Holmes’ mental state has allegedly previously been the topic of court documents.
Holmes and former Theranos President Ramesh Balwani have pleaded not guilty to charges they defrauded investors, doctors and patients by falsely claiming Theranos could revolutionize medical lab testing with technology that could enable a wide array of tests with a few drops of blood.
Before its unraveling, Theranos had been valued at $9 billion and made Holmes an instant celebrity for both her brains and beauty.
Holmes’ trial is scheduled for March 2021. She and Balwani were originally indicted in June 2018. Balwani’s case is being tried separately.