Barry Bonds Trial: Day 2 of Testimony

The Government began presenting its evidence yesterday in the trial of baseball giant Barry Bonds, who is charged with making false declarations to the grand jury about steroid use and obstruction of justice.

Jeff Novitsky, former IRS agent and lead investigator in the steroid cases, was the first witness. He testified Bonds' misstatements to the grand jury hampered the investigation. One of the elements of the false statement charge is that the statement had to be material to the grand jury investigation.

Also yesterday, the Judge sent Bonds' former trainer, Gregg Anderson, back to jail for refusing to testify. He'll stay there for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last a month. [More..]

The government wants Anderson to authenticate doping calendars and private steroid tests that they say the trainer arranged to track Bonds' steroid use. Without his testimony, the evidence is inadmissible, the judge has ruled.

Novitsky finished testifying today. According to this article, he did not come off as likable but he also wasn't damaged on cross-examination.

The Government's second witness today was Bonds' former businesss manager and childhood friend, Steven Hoskins. He told the jury Bonds admitted using steroids in 2000. He also testified he saw Greg Anderson leaving Bonds' bedroom with a syringe in his hand:

Hoskins said Bonds complained to him in 2000 about the effects of steroid injections in his buttocks....[He said] that the steroid, the shots were making his butt sore,” Hoskins told the federal court jury today.

Hoskin tape recorded several conversations, and a portion of one conversation with Bonds' father was played to the jury today.

Bonds' attorney, Allen Ruby, attempted to impeach Hoskins' credibiltiy, accusing him of trying to extort money from Bonds and forging his name on sports memorabilia.

Allen Ruby, Bonds’s attorney, told the jury yesterday that Hoskins forged Bonds’s name on sports memorabilia that he was selling. Ruby said Hoskins became a witness for the government after Bonds turned over information about the forgery to prosecutors, months before his grand jury testimony. Federal prosecutors dropped an investigation of the forgeries, according to court documents.

Under cross examination, Hoskins said he did sign Bonds' name on occasion—but only with Bonds' permission. Hoskins also said he secretly recorded conversations with Bonds' doctor and business lawyer. Hoskins said his recording of Dr. Arthur Ting was made in late 2003 or 2004, in hopes of dissuading Bonds from using steroids.

During opening arguments yesterday, Bonds' attorney told the jury Bond had indeed used steroids, but that he was misled by trainer Greg Anderson and didn't know they were steroids.

A reporter at the Boston Globe asks whether the Bonds will be convicted or just embarrassed.

Notebooks in hand, they scribbled words like testicular atrophy, heard about female fertility drugs, and were told a bitter ex-mistress and equally bitter former childhood friend of Bonds would soon be taking the stand to help explain it all.

Hopefully, one other thing will be explained along the way: After spending more than seven years and millions of dollars chasing Bonds, just what is it the government hopes to gain by convicting him of some relatively minor charges of lying to a grand jury?

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    Can you say Scooter Libby? (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:21:28 PM EST
    "...just what is it the government hopes to gain by convicting him of some relatively minor charges of lying to a grand jury?"

    Are You Seriously... (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:46:01 AM EST
    ... comparing perjured testimony in a steroid case to outing a CIA officer ?

    Same charges, but gravity of the lie is important.  Government officials lying about National Security is IMO opinion a million times more important than a pro athlete lying about what is essentially MLB, a private enterprise, rule breaking.

    He never touched them, so he never possessed them, and like any drug, it's not illegal to have them in your system.


    But (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:22:39 AM EST
    The definition of "perjury" does not rest on what an individual thinks is important or what is "minor".

    What a waste of time and money... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 09:29:54 PM EST
    It's a good thing that they solved all the other problems in the world first before getting to this.