Barry Bonds Perjury Trial Begins Monday
Jury selection begins tomorrow in Barry Bond's trial on charges of lying to the grand jury and obstruction of justice stemming from his testimony before a grand jury investigating steroid use.
Bonds denied using steroids and denied that his trainer, Greg Anderson, injected him with steroids. Bonds has gotten some good rulings on pre-trial motions. The judge barred the introduction of his drug tests and Anderson's doping calendars.
Anderson will not be a witness against Bonds. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, prosecutors will be able to introduce one steroid test from 2003. "When retested, it showed Bonds was using "the clear" and "the cream," prosecutors say. They have listed 52 witnesses.[More...]
They may include former Giants catcher Bobby Estalella, a BALCO customer who says Bonds admitted he was using steroids, and former Bonds assistant Kathy Hoskins, who says she saw Anderson inject Bonds in the navel in 2002. Her brother, Steve Hoskins, Bonds' former business manager, gave the government a recording on which Anderson admitted providing undetectable steroids to Bonds.
The defense is expected to vigorously cross-examine these witnesses and impeach their credibility:
Defense lawyers have denounced Bell as an untruthful gold digger and accused Steve Hoskins of taping Anderson as part of an attempt to blackmail Bonds.
The AP reports it comes down to this:
[W]hether [Bonds] broke the law with four short answers totaling nine words: "Not that I know of," "No, no," "No," and "Right."
The Government's claim:
Prosecutors allege Bonds lied to the grand jury when he said he didn't take steroids Anderson gave him, never received human growth hormone from Anderson, never took anything Anderson asked him to take before the 2003 season other than vitamins, and never allowed anyone to inject him other than physicians.
The AP describes his intended defense:
He was truthful when told the grand jury he didn't know the substances he used were steroids, so even if they were performance-enhancing drugs, that isn't relevant to the charges against Bonds.
Here's a timeline of how the case developed. As to the current charges, here's the Third Superseding Indictment which charges Bonds with four counts of making false declarations to the grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice.
If convicted on any of the counts, USA Today's timeline says his sentencing guideline range would be 15 to 21 months.
Controversial IRS Agent Jeff Novitsky, who's also gunning for Lance Armstrong, and who Bonds and many others believe has a vendetta against Bonds, should be front and center. On March 11, Bonds filed another motion in limine seeking to exclude some of Novitsky's anticpated testimony.
The government’s amended witness list continues to state that Novitzky “will also testify about the manner in which the defendant’s false statements in the grand jury influenced the criminal investigation of Conte and Anderson.” The Court has ruled out any testimony by Novitzky concerning the “defendant’s false statements.” As the defense understands the Court’s rulings, Novitzky may testify as to the investigative actions taken as a result of Mr. Bonds’s testimony, but Novitzky may not testify to his mental impressions so as to suggest in any way his opinion as to whether the testimony was untruthful.
At a hearing this Thursday, the Judge gave Bonds another partial victory by excluding Novitsky's testimony about a conversation he had with Greg Anderson when a search warrant was being executed in 2003, and also, in excluding angry voicemails Bonds left his girlfriend Kimberly Bell.
As to what the Court ruled on Novitsky, the transcript of the March hearing includes this ruling:
Defense motion Number 4, about Mr. Novitzky. It's granted in part and denied in part. Agent Novitzky may not opine on his opinion of the truthfulness of the defendant's grand jury testimony. He's specifically precluded from saying that. Nor may he allude to or suggest the existence of the materials that are being excluded from evidence in this case.
But if he wants to testify about the existence of inconsistencies between the defendant's testimony and other evidence which caused him to do further work, why, that's fair game. And he may testify as to how that impacted the grand jury and the investigation. It is relevant to the question of materiality, and the government must be allowed to prove that element.
As to Greg Anderson, he appeared in court last week with his lawyer, Mark Geragos. Geragos told the Judge Anderson will not testify at trial. The judge ordered Anderson to show up Tuesday, and told him she will remand him into custody for the duration of the trial if he refuses to testify.
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