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Judge dismisses juror in the Elizabeth Holmes trial for playing Sudoku during court proceedings, report says

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Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in a black suit jacket in a San Jose courtroom
Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, in a San Jose courtroom in September. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • A juror in the Holmes trial was sent home for playing Sudoku, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • "Were you playing this Sudoku?" Judge Edward J. Davila asked juror No. 5, CNBC reported.

  • Friday's dismissal marked the third exit of a juror since the trial began seven weeks ago.

A few minutes after Judge Edward Davila brought the Elizabeth Holmes trial into session on Friday, he paused the proceedings, and summoned attorneys for both sides and a single juror into his chambers, according to the court's log.

"Court informs Counsel of issue raised re Juror," the minutes said.

The juror, who was dismissed about an hour later, had been playing Sudoku during the court proceedings, according to a transcript of the conversation inside the judge's chambers, which was obtained by CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

In his chambers, Davila reportedly confronted juror No. 5 about her habit of working on the puzzles during the trial. Somebody had emailed Davila about the juror, the reports said. The juror was said to have been hiding the game in her court-provided notepad.

"Were you playing this Sudoku?" Davila said, according to CNBC.

"I do have Sudoku, but it doesn't interfere with me listening," the juror reportedly said. "I'm very fidgety, so I need to do something with my hands. So at home, I'll crochet while I'm watching or listening to TV."

The juror reportedly told the judge that they hadn't missed any of the facts of the case.

The attorneys then met the judge alone, according to the court minutes. And when the judge returned just after 10 a.m., he informed the court that the juror would be dismissed, according to the court's minutes.

"10:02 am - Court excused Juror #5 and activated Alt. #3 to replace Juror #5," the minutes said.

In court, Davila didn't explain why the juror was being dismissed but said it was for a "good cause."

Juror No. 5 was the third to be excused from the 12-member jury since the trial began seven weeks ago. One juror left during the second week of the trial because of financial hardship.

Another juror departed in the fifth week after she told the judge her Buddhist religion would be a factor in reaching a verdict. Two alternates remain.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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