“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who was out on bail pending his sentencing for swindling hedge fund investors, has had his bail revoked by a judge who has put him behind bars for being a “danger to society. Shkreli had been ranting on Facebook with what amounted to threats against Hillary Clinton and her hair. Shkreli put a bounty on the scalp or a chunk of hair from the former secretary of state, and that violated his parole in New York this afternoon. Shkreli’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, rushed to his defense, saying that it was Shkreli’s lame attempt at humor during a tense time, but the judge wasn’t having it.
This wasn’t the first time that Martin Shkreli got dragged before a judge to explain his off-color comments. During Shkreli’s trial for bilking hedge fund investors, he allegedly tried to taint the jury pool by showing up with the crowds and making a scene. The prosecutors wanted Shkreli gagged, but Brafman argued that Shkreli did nothing wrong, and the gagging attempt was a ploy.
“Mr. Shkreli’s comments were not intended to disrupt the proceedings. Rather they are defensive measures taken by him in response to what he perceives to be highly prejudicial one-sided coverage of his trial.”
But Judge Kiyo Matsumoto wasn’t having the excuses of Martin Shkreli or Ben Brafman this time, and Shkreli was put behind bars looking very pale. Martin Shkreli was out on $5 million bond pending his sentencing when he started posting comments that were considered threats against Hillary Clinton on Facebook. When Brafman told the judge that it was humor or satire, the judge demanded to know what was so funny.
“One ongoing concern of mine is that he has been touted as a brilliant young man, the mind of his generation, yet he lacks the ability to understand what’s appropriate.”
Judge Matsumoto then withdrew Shkreli’s bail and had him removed, but Brafman kept begging.
“Judge, we’ll do anything you ask.”
Many people questioned what Shkreli was thinking when he posted a call to his followers to harm Hillary Clinton.
“On HRC’s book tour, try and grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton.”
The prosecutor from Shkreli’s case, Jacquelyn Kasulis, reportedly found Ben Brafman’s attempts to save Shkreli from arrest amusing.
“He can’t control Mr. Shkreli, that is very clear. [Shkreli’s] demonstrated an escalating pattern of threats against women. He’s not special, by any stretch of the imagination. He’s a convicted felon.”
Martin Shkreli had previously thumbed his nose at prosecutors, saying that he was simply going to “Club Fed” to play Xbox and basketball, but now he will stay behind bars until he is sentenced in January. In addition to posting threats about Hillary Clinton, Shkreli also posted pseudo threats about the prosecution after they attempted to have his bail revoked last week.
“F*** the government. I will never kiss their ring or snitch. Come at me with your hardest because I haven’t seen anything impressive yet.”
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Ben Brafman and Martin Shkreli tried to argue that Shkreli’s posts were covered by the First Amendment, but the judge shut that down.
“This is a solicitation of assault. That is not protected by the First Amendment.”
On his way into the court house, Martin Shkreli was still defiant, refusing to ride the elevator with a journalist because they were “fake news.” Ben Brafman says that despite what his client Shkreli says, he is not dangerous to anyone.
“He says things that are stupid. I don’t think stupid makes you violent.”
Do you think Martin Shkreli belongs behind bars for threatening Hillary Clinton? Do you think his “jokes” were threatening?
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]