SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) -– During a pivotal federal court hearing three weeks before his perjury trial is scheduled to start, Barry Bonds again pleaded not guilty and his former personal trainer again vowed to go to prison rather than testify in the case.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
Bonds, 46, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the latest version of an indictment accusing him of lying before a federal grand jury. Prosecutors revised the charges for the third time since the initial indictment was unsealed in November 2007.
He is now due to go on trial in San Francisco on March 21 on four counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice in 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating steroid distribution.
Bonds’ legal team and prosecutors have told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston that there is little chance of a plea agreement to avert the trial.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, also told Illston that he would again refuse to testify at trial, even if he has to go to jail for contempt of court.
Illston then told Anderson, “You will very likely be ordered into custody until the conclusion of the trial.” Anderson simply nodded his head that he understood.
“He’s taking not testifying to the nth degree,” said Mark Geragos, Anderson’s attorney.
Anderson made a similar pledge in 2009 and spent more than a year in prison on contempt charges before Bonds’ trial was put on hold because of legal wrangling in the case.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger is accused by prosecutors of lying when he said he never knowingly received steroids from Anderson and never received an injection from him.
After Anderson left the courtroom on Tuesday, the lawyers got down to highly technical arguments over what evidence would be presented to the jury.
The judge ruled that the jury may hear, among other pieces of evidence:
- That prosecutors granted Bonds immunity from prosecution as long he testified truthfully about his drug use before the grand jury.
- Bonds’ former personal shopper, Cathy Hoskins, testifying about Bonds’ relationship with a Playboy model.
- Bonds’ personal surgeon, Dr. Arthur Ting, and former girlfriend Kim Bell testifying that Bonds mistreated them, including Bell allegedly witnessing violent outbursts.
Each count against Bonds carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison. However, federal sentencing guidelines for a first offense on these charges generally call for a total sentence of 15 to 21 months.
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