Jury selection for former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli’s fraud trial got off to a rocky start, as several potential were dismissed after they admitted they were disgusted by the so-called “Pharma Bro,” according to reports.
Of 178 potential jurors questioned in Brooklyn federal court on Monday, only about 40 made the first cut, as others were dismissed for various reasons, including their opinions of Shkreli, the New York Daily News reported.
“I looked right at him, and in my head, I said, ‘That’s a snake’ — not knowing who he was,” one potential juror reportedly said before she was dismissed.
Shkreli, 34, gained notoriety after raising the cost of Daraprim — a life-saving drug used to help those with cancer and AIDS fight infection — from $13.50 to $750.
“The fact he raised the price of that AIDS drug — who does that?" said another woman who was reportedly dismissed. "A person who puts profit over everything else."
That Shkreli, the former head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, had bought an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album, also didn’t sit well with the potential jury of his peers.
“He kind of looks like a d***. Sorry,” another possible juror told Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.
His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, was reportedly not pleased with how the selection process was turning out, saying at one point, “So much for the presumption of innocence,” according to The News.
On Tuesday, the judge denied defense requests to start the selection process over and ban reporters from listening in on sidebars, WRAL.com reported.
Matsumoto agreed to re-question the 40 people who made the first cut to see if they had been tainted in any way by recent reports.
Shkreli is accused of defrauding financiers in a Ponzi-like scheme that left investors out at least $11 million.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges he faces. Shkreli has pleaded not guilty.