A jury is selected for the Elizabeth Holmes trial.

For two days, a judge, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers questioned roughly 100 potential jurors before whittling the list down to 12 jurors and five alternates.

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A jury is selected for the Elizabeth Holmes trial.

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the defunct blood testing start-up Theranos, arrived at U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., earlier this week.Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Sept. 2, 2021, 1:08 p.m. ET

A jury of 12 residents of Santa Clara County, Calif., and five alternates was chosen on Thursday for the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of blood testing start-up Theranos, which is set to begin next week.

For two days, Judge Edward Davila of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, federal prosecutors and Ms. Holmes’s defense lawyers questioned roughly 100 potential jurors over their answers to a 28-page questionnaire that spanned topics including what news outlets they read, whether they knew any potential witnesses and whether they have had negative medical experiences.

The jury will decide the fate of Ms. Holmes, who is battling 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud over false claims she made about Theranos’s blood tests and business. Her trial is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent fraud cases and a public fascination with Ms. Holmes has spawned documentaries, a book and a mini-series starring Amanda Seyfried.

Finding jurors who had never heard of Theranos, which collapsed in 2018 after reports that its blood-testing technology did not work as advertised, was a challenge.

One potential juror said she went down a “YouTube rabbit hole” of videos about Ms. Holmes. Another said she had seen a social media meme about Ms. Holmes’s voice — Ms. Holmes appeared to have deepened her voice at times — something that contributed to her cult of personality and the interest in her downfall.

Scheduling was another issue. The trial is set to last 13 weeks or longer. Some jurors were dismissed because they had upcoming surgeries or long-awaited vacations. Others were excused because they were teachers with no one to fill in for them.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Carlos Chavarria for The New York Times

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of the blood testing start-up Theranos, stands trial soon for two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Here are some of the key figures in the case ->

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 as a 19-year-old Stanford dropout. She raised $700 million from investors and was crowned the world’s youngest billionaire, but has been accused of lying about how well Theranos’s technology worked. She has pleaded not guilty.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ramesh Balwani, known as Sunny, was Theranos’s president and chief operating officer from 2009 through 2016 and was in a romantic relationship with Holmes. He has also been accused of fraud and may stand trial next year. He has pleaded not guilty.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times

David Boies, a prominent litigator, represented Theranos as its attorney and served on its board.

He tried to shut down whistleblowers and reporters who questioned the company’s business practices.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Getty Images

The journalist John Carreyrou wrote stories exposing fraudulent practices at Theranos.

His coverage for The Wall Street Journal helped lead to the implosion of Theranos.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, via Getty Images

Tyler Shultz and Erika Cheung are former Theranos employees and were whistle-blowers. They worked at the start-up in 2013 and 2014.

Shultz is a grandson of George Shultz, a former Secretary of State who was on the Theranos board.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Eric Thayer for The New York Times

James Mattis, a retired four-star general, was a member of Theranos’s board of directors.

He went on to serve as President Donald J. Trump’s secretary of defense.

Who’s Who in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo?Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Edward Davila, a federal judge for the Northern District of California, will oversee the case.

Kevin Downey, a partner at the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly, is the lead attorney for Holmes.

Robert Leach, an assistant United States attorney for the Northern District of California, will lead the prosecution for the government, along with other prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office.

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Domestic abuse was a significant topic of discussion. Ms. Holmes’s lawyers have indicated that she is likely to argue that she was abused and controlled by her business partner, Ramesh Balwani, known as Sunny, whom she also dated. Mr. Balwani also faces fraud charges. When Judge Davila asked if any jurors had been exposed to domestic abuse on Wednesday, roughly half of them raised their hands and shared stories that they said could sway their views of the evidence and testimonies.

Another potential juror worked on a whistle-blower program for law enforcement. Theranos was felled, in part, by two young employees who reported issues with the company’s tests to government agencies and the press. Still another prospective juror was dismissed for bias because his mother-in-law went to prison for embezzlement.

On Wednesday, the prosecution argued that five of the potential jurors that Ms. Holmes’s lawyers had proposed to dismiss for hardship were people of color. Ms. Holmes’ lawyers denied any racial profiling of jurors.

On Thursday, lawyers for each side agreed on a jury within an hour, passing a list of jurors between them.

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