SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — The federal jury deliberating in the Barry Bonds perjury trial sent two notes to the judge on Friday — one asking for transcript of the secret recording played in court that was made by Steve Hoskins, Bonds’ former business manager, and the other to hear the testimony read back to them by Hoskins’ sister, Kathy.
The two questions involved some of the prosecution’s best evidence against the home-run king.
Hoskins recorded conversations with Greg Anderson, Bonds’ trainer in 2003. Prosecutors maintained that the conversations were about steroid use by Bonds and other athletes. The recordings were very hard to understand because the recorder was kept in Hoskins’ jacket pocket.
Prosecutors had used the tape in an attempt to convince jurors that the greatest home-run hitter in major league history had to know he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.
KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:
The jury worked about seven hours Friday, including lunch and breaks, before adjourning until Monday.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston refused to give jurors the full transcript of the Hoskins-Anderson tape, because one wasn’t placed in evidence during the trial that began March 21. But she allowed them to rehear the portions of the recording that were first played for them on March 23 and replayed Thursday during the prosecution’s closing.
Illston told the jury that Kathy Hoskins’ testimony would be read back to them when deliberations resume Monday. Hoskins was Bonds’ personal shopper and claims to have seen Anderson inject him with an unknown substance in the navel in 2002.
Meantime, Illston released Anderson from jail on Friday. He was found in contempt of court by Illston at the start of the trial on March 22 and jailed for the duration of the trial after he refused to testify as a prosecution witness.
On Wednesday, after testimony in the trial was completed, Anderson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, filed a motion asking for the trainer’s release.
Prosecutors argued, however, that Anderson should be kept in jail until there was a final verdict.
But Illston on Friday signed a one-page order saying, “For good cause shown, it is hereby ordered that Mr. Anderson be immediately released from confinement.”
Bonds, 46, is charged with three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing justice in 2003 testimony before a grand jury that was investigating steroids distribution.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger is accused of lying when he told the panel he never knowingly took steroids or human growth hormone from Anderson and never received an injection from him.
Prosecutors unsuccessfully sought Anderson as a key witness to prove their claim that Bonds knowingly took the drugs.
Anderson previously spent more than a year in custody for refusing to testify before a grand jury that eventually indicted Bonds on the perjury charges in 2007.
In another development Friday, Illston instructed the jurors – at the behest of the defense – that Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella misspoke during his closing argument when he said former Giants Head Athletic Trainer Stan Conte testified that Harvey Shields, another Bonds trainer, used flaxseed oil on the player all the time. Conte never made that claim.
The defense alleged that Parrella used the misquoted testimony as a basis for his claim that Bonds understood that “the clear” was not flaxseed oil.
In his 2003 grand jury testimony, Bonds told the panel he had been given “the clear” by Anderson but said he thought it was flaxseed oil and not a steroid. The substance was later found to be the so-called designer steroid that was engineered to be undetectable.
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