Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes takes stand in her criminal trial in surprise move by defense team

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Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was called to the stand in her criminal trial on Friday.
After 11 weeks of witnesses called by the prosecution, the defense began to make its case Friday morning.
The defense hadn't indicated whether Holmes would testify.

SAN JOSE, CALIF — Elizabeth Holmes removed her mask and, with a smile on her face, took the stand on Friday to testify in her criminal trial, a sudden and surprising move by the defense team, which began its case earlier in the day.

Holmes, 37, faces 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for her actions as founder and CEO of Theranos, which she led from 2003 until the company shut down in 2018. She pleaded not guilty.

Defense lawyers hadn't indicated whether Holmes would take the stand. But she was called and confidently walked up shortly after 3 p.m. California time. It's the first time jurors have seen Holmes in person without a mask.

Kevin Downey, one of Holmes' defense attorneys, began the questioning. In one of her first statements, Holmes said that between 2009 and 2010, her team made a technological breakthrough.

"We worked for years with teams of scientists and engineers to miniaturize all of the technologies in the laboratory," Holmes said.

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