Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction; Mistrial On Perjury

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — The jury in the Barry Bonds trial found him guilty of obstruction of justice on Wednesday afternoon, but the judge declared a mistrial on several perjury charges after jurors indicated they couldn’t reach unanimous agreement on those.

>> Trial Tweets: >> CBS 5’s Joe Vazquez | >> KCBS’ Doug Sovern

Federal judge Susan Illston made the decision to declare a mistrial on the remaining counts after the jury foreman said the eight women and four men comprising the panel were deadlocked and further deliberations would not break the stalemate.

Bonds sat stone-faced and displayed no emotion through the verdict, which came on the jury’s fourth day of deliberations. It was unclear whether he would actually be sentenced to any jail time.

>> Opinion & Analysis: Weird Verdict Is Road To Nowhere | There’s Much We Still Don’t Know | Hall Of Fame Still Possible After Trial?

Bonds later walked out of the courthouse, impeccably dressed in suit and tie, and flashed a victory sign to a few fans. But then he told them, “there’s nothing to celebrate.” His lawyers instructed Bonds not to comment further.

Wednesday’s messy developments were just the latest in the case that had put the former San Francisco Giants slugger under a cloud of suspicion for more than three years culminating in a 12-day trial.

Bonds, 46, was accused by the government of lying in 2003 testimony before a federal grand jury investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs by the Burlingame-based Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Prosecutors had alleged that Bonds committed perjury when he denied knowingly taking both steroids and human growth hormone. A third perjury count charged that Bonds lied when he said that no one other than his doctor ever injected him with anything.

A 19-year-old blonde woman, Amber, who was the youngest juror and would only give her first name, said the final votes on the deadlocked charges were 8-4 to acquit Bonds of lying about steroids and 9-3 to acquit him on lying about HGH use.

The panel voted 11-1 to convict him of getting an injection from someone other than his doctor, with one woman juror – Nyiesha, a 28-year-old nurse – holding out because she said she didn’t believe the testimony of Bonds’ personal shopper who claimed that she witnessed a personal trainer injecting Bonds.

“She was believable for 11 of us,” said a 60-year-old male juror, who identified himself only as Steve. “We were very, very close.”

The U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, Melinda Haag, said prosecutors had not yet decided whether to retry Bonds on those three unresolved perjury counts. Some legal observers questioned whether a retrial would be worth the time and expense.

The 56-year-old jury foreman, Fred Jacob, said if prosecutors wanted to again “pursue this case, they’re going to have to do more homework than they did.”

The juror named Steve added that Bonds’ legal team was largely “successful” in making “the prosecutors look like bad guys.”

He also said the government was hurt by the testimony of Bonds’ physician, Dr. Arthur Ting, who was called as a prosecution witness but ended up refuting many of their allegations.

“I think the prosecutors got a big bomb thrown in their lap,” Steve said.

There was another key government witness that none of the jurors believed — Bonds’ ex-girlfriend Kimberly Bell, said a juror who identified herself only as Jessica.

“We were very against Kim Bell,” Jessica said. “She wasn’t as much sure in her answers and she seemed to be attacking Barry instead of just giving her own honest testimony.”

Bell had testified that she noticed Bonds’ testicles were shrunken, which prosecutors argued was a sign of steroids use.

As a result of those juror comments, the government will have to really “reconsider the strength of their case and ultimately decide if another jury will convict him based on the same evidence,” observed legal analyst Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha, a criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor in California.

The fourth count, which jurors convicted Bonds on, was obstruction of justice. It alleged that Major League Baseball’s all-time home-run leader hindered the grand jury’s sports doping investigation by lying.

Juror Jessica told reporters they agreed unanimously that Bonds was “not directly answering the question, just kind of evading the question.”

KCBS’ Chris Filippi With Reaction From Jurors:

Bonds faces a possible prison sentence of 15 to 21 months for obstruction, however others convicted in the BALCO case – such as cyclist Tammy Thomas and track coach Trevor Graham – were simply sentenced to house arrest.

Bonds is one of 11 people – and four athletes – who were charged and found guilty either of illegal distribution of drugs or with lying in connection with the BALCO probe.

A number of legal analysts said Bonds would likely not have to serve jail time. He would probably be sentenced to probation and slapped with a fine, the analysts believed.

Bonds’ legal team immediately asked that the one guilty verdict be thrown out, but the judge did not rule on the request. She set May 20 for a hearing in the case.

Lead defense attorney Allen Ruby said the prosecution failed to prove the heart of its case, noting that the obstruction count was a complicated charge that jurors were asked to decipher.

Bonds was convicted based on only one statement that did not address performance-enhancing drugs, which prompted Ruby to quip that it had apparently been “determined it was unlawful for Barry Bonds to tell the grand jury he was a celebrity child and to talk about his friendship with (personal trainer) Greg Anderson.”

KCBS’ Melissa Culross With Reaction From Legal Analysts:

The defense planned to argue that Bonds’ answer wasn’t relevant to the grand jury.

Prosecutors were hampered in making their case because of Anderson’s refusal to testify against Bonds. With Anderson not taking the stand, prosecutors were unable to show jurors calendars that allegedly kept track of Bonds’ steroid usage and present results of three alleged positive drug tests.

The jury foreman said the absence of Anderson – who was imprisoned during the trial on a contempt citation – hindered the government’s ability to prove Bonds lied about steroids.

“We couldn’t connect the dots between steroids, Greg and Barry,” he said.

Added one of the female jurors: “The evidence that he did steroids might have been there, but did he knowingly do steroids was the question and we couldn’t prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, there was just a piece of the puzzle missing.”

On the HGH count, the foreman said jurors concluded, “there just wasn’t any evidence. HGH is very hard to detect and there wasn’t any scientific evidence. Everything was circumstantial.”

The San Francisco Giants organization did not mention Bonds by name in a post-trial statement late Wednesday, which read simply: “This case is ongoing and we expect it will proceed in a fair and orderly manner. Accordingly, we have no comment at this time.”

Bonds ended his 21-year major league career with the Giants in 2003 with 762 home runs. He also set the record for most home runs in a single season in 2001 with the Giants, when he hit 73.

>> Photo Gallery: Barry Bonds Through The Years

Bonds was indicted on Nov. 15, 2007, exactly 50 days after
taking his final big league swing. The indictement was filed at the federal courthouse in San Francisco, which is less than two miles from AT&T Park where the seven-time National League Most Valuable Player played for his last 15 years.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

More from Sovern Nation
  • Bloodhounds

    I’m sure most pro athletes have used some kind of steriods, who cares? Bush lied and he hasn’t had to do any time.

  • ValHarris

    After reading the Barry Bonds indictment – I don’t think the govt proved their case because it didn’t matter that Bonds lied – it matters that when Bonds lied – did he know the function of the Grand Jury, and did he know that his testimony would railroad the Grand Jury’s decision. But you know juries – they almost always convict. I really wish the media would have pointed that out – no one seems to have done their homework, save a few – a very few – legal commentators.

  • Robert McCoy

    Berry Bonds is in more trouble than the 17 yeaar olld who killed Meguel Sanchez as he walked in the cross walk in downtown Clloverdale, then drove away to play basket ball at the school with his buddies.

    • ValHarris

      Can you elaborate?

    • Whatevs


  • anthony

    Man got off hella easy and im glad of it….dont get me wrong, as a life long giants fan i think the man defineatly did steroids but so did a big percentage of the rest of baseball….and he always acted a punk at every chance……..but to single him out especially after some players lied to congress was totally wrong and this seemed to be nothing but a prosicuter trying to make a name for himself..but with everyone being broke i think the government could find alotta better ways to spend its money than on this

  • VERDICT: Barry Bonds Guilty

    […] to our friends at CBS San Francisco, the jury in the Barry Bonds trial found him guilty of Obstruction of Justice on […]

  • ValHarris

    I’m sure this verdict will be appealed – and pronto – the defense asked to vacate the verdict. Bonds has good lawyers. I never thought the prosecution made their case.

  • Barry

    I”ve been a Dodger fan since the days they were in Brooklyn and even I think this was a total waste of time and money. I wonder if they would have gone after Bonds with such zeal if his skin was white. Just wondering…

  • Ray

    During the course of all this, prosecutors and news pundits have been lying to the public about the effects of steroids, slandering Bonds and threatening our children with misinformation. They’ve been associating taking steroids with hitting Home-Runs. There is no proof on this earth that the two are connected in any way. Those who shamefully lie to the public about the effects of drugs have always been the cause of the drug problem. In this case, we see law enforcement have a much more negative effect on society, than the crime the defendant is accused of committing.

  • Hogdork

    What kind of non-sensical verdict is that? He was clearly guilty of all the charges. However finding him guilty on the obstruction count should be predicated on the lying count being valid. Since the jury was deadlocked on the lying count, the obstruction count should be vacated.

  • diencaidau

    Who care
    Celeb always get away with murders, most of the time.
    Wasting tax money “OUR”, the jerk still free

  • Bonds Trial Analysis: What Was Proved? Much We Don’t Know « CBS San Francisco

    […] Deals // // Breaking News: Barry Bonds Found Guilty Of Obstruction Of Justice Read More […]

  • Bonds Trial Analysis: What Was Proved? Much We Don’t Know « CBS San Francisco

    […] Deals // // Breaking News: Barry Bonds Found Guilty Of Obstruction Of Justice Read More […]

  • mlstone

    Yes, Barry Bonds used performance enhancers. Yes, Barry Bonds lied about it in court. For that, he should go to jail. The problem I have with it is, why did baseball have a court case in the first place regarding their own rules. The rules of baseball are different from the laws of society. It is against the rules to use steroids, but it is not illegal. So why were they in court talking about it. They should’ve had their own hearing run by baseball officials, rather than in front of court justices. Baseball is a game. It is not life. Cheating in the game of baseball is different from lets say cheating on taxes. We should have made baseball take care of its own problems instead of taking it to court, where it doesn’t belong.

    • Ray

      Great point mlstone, thanks for the reality check.

  • Analysis: What Does Guilty Verdict Mean For Bonds? « CBS San Francisco

    […] Deals // // Breaking News: Barry Bonds Found Guilty Of Obstruction Of Justice Read More […]

  • Analysis: Weird Bonds Verdict Is Road To Nowhere « CBS San Francisco

    […] Deals // // Breaking News: Barry Bonds Found Guilty Of Obstruction Of Justice Read More […]

  • hohyhoho

    I am a law abiding anticipant
    By law I make millions
    But by breaking it I make millions more
    But my pockets could never be like those to the law makers
    Now they moneys no more… no more
    Rendered my life been totally explored

  • Mike

    They didn’t convict him of perjury (lying), but he obstructed justice by lying…I think the jurors were hung on all the counts, but they had to convict on something to save face.

  • ProMuni

    This case was over when the judge threw out previous count about him lying to the grand jury. Now the jurors try to reinstate it in a round about way with the obstruction of just charge. C’mon, how many people ask when the nurse gives you a shot what’s really in it? Or do you just go with flow to get out of the doctor’s office? All this time and money to fight about steroids and it wasn’t even illegal during 2001 season. New terms in MLB agreement was I think 2002 with testing following a year or two later. Judge should dismiss last count and lets have a BARRY PARTY! Go Giants and GoD in that order, during the season only! ;)

  • D. K. H.

    Barry Bonds is by far the greatest baseball player to ever play the game. However the United States government should find better solutions to focus on the poor and disabled by using the court cost to better help people in need .Instead of wasting money and tax payers dollars to simply prove nothing regardless if he used performance drugs or not. I currently feel race has simply played a big part. Which is why this particular case means so much to federal Courts and major League baseball.

  • hitman

    It was noted that as the jurors left the court room they put on their giants caps and world series shirts! Should have held the trial in L.A. If it was held there, he would have been guilty on all counts!!!!

  • old stogie

    after mounting an expensive but brilliant defense—NONE, Bonds’ legal wants him to appeal. They will defend Bonds all the way to the bank—their banks!

  • Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction; Mistrial On Perjury | Kansas City Lawyers | Kansas City Attorney | Kansas City Lawyer

    […] Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction; Mistrial On Perjury The jury in the Barry Bonds trial found him guilty of obstruction of justice on Wednesday, but the judge declared a mistrial on several perjury charges. Read more on CBS San Francisco […]

  • Latest “Defense Lawyer” News | Grand Rapids Lawyers | Grand Rapids Attorney

    […] Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction; Mistrial On Perjury The jury in the Barry Bonds trial found him guilty of obstruction of justice on Wednesday, but the judge declared a mistrial on several perjury charges. Read more on CBS San Francisco […]

  • Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction; Mistrial On Perjury | Louisville Lawyers | Louisville Attorney | Louisville Lawyer

    […] Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction; Mistrial On Perjury The jury in the Barry Bonds trial found him guilty of obstruction of justice on Wednesday, but the judge declared a mistrial on several perjury charges. Read more on CBS San Francisco […]

  • Commissioner Has No Plans To Change Bonds’ Records « Commissioner Has No Plans To Change Bonds’ Records « CBS San Francisco

    […] SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will not consider changing Barry Bonds’ records following the slugger’s conviction on obstruction of justice last week. […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’
Food For Families Drive

Listen Live