Nearly 250 potential jurors dismissed from selection for Martin Shkreli's securities fraud trial

Several potential jurors expressed strong objections to the "Pharma Bro."

ByABC News
June 28, 2017, 9:52 AM

— -- Multiple potential jurors who were dismissed from the securities fraud trial against Martin Shkreli had expressed strong objections toward the former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for his drastic increase in the price of a life-saving drug.

Jury selection for 34-year-old Shkreli’s trial has proved difficult, with nearly 250 potential jurors dismissed in just two days for the securities fraud trial in New York.

A judge denied requests from Shkreli's defense team to start the selection process over and ban reporters from listening in on sidebars, The Associated Press reported. The judge did agree to re-question about 40 people who qualified for the jury pool to see if they were influenced by Shkreli's publicity.

Of 178 jurors, 47 were selected on Monday, while 16 out of 69 jurors were selected voir dire on Tuesday.

One potential juror, a woman in her 20s, said she had heard of Shkreli and his influence on the "price of drugs."

"He just seemed to care about himself," she told pool reporters at the Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Shkreli made headlines in 2015 for raising the price of Daraprim, an anti-parasitic drug used to treat infections from $13.50 to $750 a tablet after acquiring the drug from another pharmaceutical company.

Days later, Shkreli told ABC News that the company would lower the price of Daraprim "to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit."

The drug is used by those with cancer or HIV. Before Shkreli's announcement, Turing Pharmaceuticals released a statement saying it was aiming to create new medications to treat the disease in an effort to reduce the side effects and that the higher price would subsidize costs for developing new drugs.

A woman in her 40s who said she had been a health care professional for "half" of her life," said she doesn’t think she was an appropriate choice for a juror.

"I have friends on the drug," she said. "I've cried with them. I don't think I'm the right person to sit."

A man in his 40s told reporters that he had a "very negative opinion" of Shkreli, while another woman in her 40s said she was "opinionated" and has a "problem with corporate greed."

Shkreli is on trial for charges unrelated to drug pricing. He was arrested in December 2015 on multiple charges of securities and wire fraud related to different companies he founded, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare.

In recent video live streams posted online, Shkreli has expressed confidence about his trial.

"I'm so innocent, and I intend to prove it," he said.

Jury selection in the trial will continue on Wednesday.

ABC News' Will Gretsky contributed to this report.