More potential jurors excused from Martin Shkreli fraud trial

A man who angrily suggested he wanted to punch notorious ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was excused with several other would-be jurors for obvious bias from Shkreli’s securities fraud trial Wednesday.

“I don’t really like this person,” said the potential juror to a judge, as he stood not far from where Shkreli, who could not hear him, was sitting in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.

“I can’t understand why someone would take a medication that people need and jack up the price,” said the man, who grew increasingly agitated as he told Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, prosecutors and defense lawyers why he could not be a fair juror.

“I would just go over there,” said the man, clenching his hands into fists, and turning toward Shrekli, indicating he would like to punch him.

Matsumoto motioned at the man, who was shaking in rage by that point, to try to calm him as he spoke at a sidebar conference that included a pool press reporter.

“I’m sorry, judge,” the man said. “Is he stupid or crazy? I don’t understand.”

The man was then dismissed as a would-be juror during a morning session that featured about 70 people being questioned for the jury, only nine of whom remained as candidates by the end of the session.

Most of those dismissed had conflicts unrelated to opinions about Shkreli, such as planned vacations or other commitments.

By midday, a pool of 60 candidates, which includes people screened on Monday and Tuesday, had been assembled. More than 300 people were questioned to reach the 60-person pool. That number will be winnowed down to 12 jurors and six alternates.

Shkreli is accused of ripping off his publicly traded drug company Retrophin out of millions of dollars while serving as CEO to repay investors he allegedly defrauded at two hedge funds he ran. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Natalia Camp

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