Some Prospective Jurors Were Pretty Biased Against Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli defies advice to keep quiet before his fraud trial

Prospective jurors claim they couldn't be impartial. As CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015, he generated controversy for increasing the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent - from $13 to $750 per pill. In recent months, he's faced comparisons to President Trump for his refusal to curb controversial social media posts, even as he awaits his day in court.

Since his high-profile arrest in late 2015 when he was led into court in a gray hoodie, Shkreli has been free on bail and free to speak his mind.

Brafman intends to argue in court that Shkreli lacked the requisite criminal intent to defraud investors and relied on his trusted counsel, Greebel.

Another was sent home after confiding that when she saw Shkreli sitting at the defense table, "I said in my head, 'That's a snake'". He allegedly paid the investors back with stolen money from his company Retrophin, which he founded in 2011.

Other potential jurors had bad reactions to Mr. Shkreli himself. The real Shkreli was a con man often undone by his own mouth, they say. "A person that puts profit over everything else?"

Several jurors expressed anger at Shkreli's background in pharmaceuticals, though the charges leveled against him are for financial fraud in a different industry.

A man said both of his parents took Daraprim, a drug for a rare parasitic infection. Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has asked for another pool of 60 to 100 potential jurors to be brought to the courtroom Tuesday.

"So much for the presumption of innocence", attorney for the defense Benjamin Brafman said Monday, predicting the coverage would further complicate the process.

"I heard he bought an album from Wutang for 1 or $2 million", a male prospective juror said. "Honestly? Because [Shkreli] looks like a dick", the man said, before he shrugged his shoulders and added "sorry". He wanted to develop new life-saving drugs after seeing "several classmates and other children he knew struck down by debilitating disease", court papers say.

Juror questioning was conducted nearly entirely in sidebar - out of earshot from other jurors and Shkreli, who read documents and took copious notes during the nearly 7-hour long hearing.

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