NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jury selection at the securities fraud trial of former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli has hit a rough patch.
Lawyers for Shkreli complained Tuesday that news coverage is tainting the jury pool.
One by one, potential jurors huddled with the judge and the lawyers, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. The conversations have been out of ear shot of others due to the concern of tainting the jury pool.
During jury questioning Monday, several potential jurors said they couldn’t ignore Shkreli’s reputation for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent. One of them called him “the face of corporate greed.” Another said he’s “the most hated man in America.”
The judge denied defense requests to start the selection process over and ban reporters from listening in on sidebars. She agreed to re-question about 40 people who qualified for the pool to see if they were influenced by the latest wave of publicity for Shkreli.
The 34-year-old Shkreli was arrested last year on conspiracy and other charges unrelated to the price-gouging scandal.
Prosecutors say that after Shkreli lost millions of dollars through bad trades through his side business hedge fund, he looted a second pharmaceutical company for $11 million to pay them back. The defense has argued that he had good intentions.
Since then, he’s defied his lawyers’ advice to lay low by using social media to boast about his accomplishments and troll his critics.
The defense has accused the media of vilifying him.
If convicted, he could spend up to 20 years in prison.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)