SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) ― Barry Bonds will have to be arraigned and enter a plea next month for the third time since he was initially charged in 2007 with lying to a federal grand jury about his steroid use.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Friday ordered Bonds, 46, to enter his new plea after prosecutors revised the charges against him for a fourth time, cutting his indictment from 11 counts to five. Bond is expected to plead not guilty for the third time at a hearing March 1. His trial is scheduled to begin March 21.
Illston said she would rule later on Bonds’ demands to exclude from trial a recorded conversation between Bonds’ former business partner, Stevie Hoskins, and Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson. The pair are alleged to be discussing Bonds’ steroid use.
Federal prosecutors said the recording was made by Hoskins at the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse in March 2003.
They alleged the tape shows Anderson saying in “disguised language” that he injected Bonds with anabolic steroids and discussing the symptoms caused by the drug.
But defense attorney Donald Horgan argued before Illston on Friday that the prosecutors hadn’t proved by a preponderance of evidence that steroids were the subject of the alleged conversation.
“Other substances can cause these kinds of symptoms,” Horgan maintained.
Anderson has refused to testify at the trial. Prosecutors contend that evidence rules allow the use of the recording because Anderson is unavailable as a witness and his alleged statements on the tape are against his interests.
Prosecutors said Hoskins, a childhood friend of Bonds, has said he made the secret recording because he wanted to prove to Bonds’ father that the former San Francisco Giants slugger was allegedly taking steroids.
Additional pretrial defense and prosecution motions are due to be filed on Monday and will be considered by Illston at a March 1 hearing.
Bonds set the Major League Baseball career home run record while playing for the Giants in 2007. He also set the single-season record with 73 home runs in 2001.
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