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Theranos Trial: Holmes Defense Focuses on Undermining Testimony of SF Hedge-Fund Manager

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- An Arizona woman testified in the Elizabeth Holmes fraud trial Wednesday that Theranos gave her a false positive blood test for HIV.

Erin Tompkins of Phoenix, Arizona testified that she got interested in Theranos after skimming a Fortune Magazine article.

In 2015, she got a blood test from a fingerstick at a Theranos location, and liked that it was affordable. But her results came back positive for HIV antibodies.

She got emotional and said she got no help from Theranos customer service.

So she got a second test from another lab that came back negative and has tested negative ever since.

It was a dramatic departure from the lengthy cross examination of San Francisco hedge fund manager and investor Brian Grossman.

Grossman testified for the prosecution that Elizabeth Holmes lied to him which led to his firm losing $96 million.

But defense attorney Lance Wade tried to turn the tables, showing Grossman based his investment on his own overly optimistic and shaky calculations that Theranos could be worth over $20 billion by 2020.

"They're trying to say that the investment decision was made based on the hype of this witness, the claims that this witness made, not Elizabeth Holmes. What they're trying to do is create reasonable doubt," said Michele Hagan, a former prosecutor and legal analyst who is following the trial.

The judge, who's trying to stay on schedule, appeared frustrated with defense lawyers, pointing out that the cross examination of Grossman took six and a half hours, while the prosecution took only an hour and a half on direct examination.

"The defense has every right to ask every possible question," Hagan said.

Sitting up, listening attentively and hardly moving a muscle through the whole trial has been Elizabeth Holmes. She is facing multiple counts of criminal fraud and conspiracy. Those charges could put her in prison for up to 20 years.

The prosecution is calling its last few witnesses, and has previously said they would likely rest their case by Friday.

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