A juror in the Elizabeth Holmes trial who was found playing Sudoku during the trial has been dismissed from duty, marking the third juror in the trial to be dismissed.
The juror admitted to playing the game during testimony to "help keep focused", according to CNBC. Her Sudoku game was kept in her court-issued notebook, the report says. She played the game for "about seven to ten days of testimony".
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila asked the juror: "Were you playing this Sudoku?"
The juror responded: “I do have Sudoku, but it doesn’t interfere with me listening. I’m very fidgety, so I need to do something with my hands. So at home I’ll crochet while I’m watching or listening to T.V.”
The excuse didn't cut it with the court, and the juror was subsequently dismissed.
That leaves only two alternate jurors in a trial that is expected to last until December, according to the report.
The judge found out about the game when a juror emailed him. He then told the courtroom: “The court had found good cause to excuse a juror."
“So has this distracted you from listening?” the judge asked the Sudoku playing juror in chambers. The juror replied: "No".
When asked if they were able to "follow and retain everything that is going on in the courtroom," the juror responded: "Oh, yeah, definitely".
NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos said: “This may have been a case of one juror telling on another juror who was perceived to be not taking the trial seriously."
He added: "As crazy as it sounds, as trials drag on jurors get fatigued. They sometimes turn to something like Sudoku or even fall asleep and that can disqualify them as jurors.”
Two other jurors have already been removed from the trial: one for revealing they couldn't return a verdict that would send Holmes to prison due to their Buddhist reliiefs and another for financial hardships.
A loss of too many jurors risks a mistrial, though a jury of 11 may be permitted by a judge to return a verdict.