Lawyers for Barry Bonds will file a motion asking U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to toss the home run king's obstruction of justice guilty verdict, according to Allen Ruby, one of the home run king's lead attorneys.
The motion, Ruby said Thursday, will argue that the statement to the BALCO grand jury that jurors said was evasive - "Statement C" - did not support the obstruction of justice charge.
When a prosecutor asked Bonds, at his Dec. 4, 2003 grand jury appearance, if trainer Greg Anderson had ever given him anything that required a syringe, Bonds replied, "I've only had one doctor touch me. And that's my only personal doctor."
Bonds continued to tell the grand jury that he and Anderson got along because they didn't talk about each other's respective jobs. As the child of a celebrity - Bonds' father, Bobby, played for the Giants, Yankees and several other teams - he learned not to "get into other people's business."
During jury instructions, Bonds' legal team expressed concern that the jury could fail to convict the former baseball star on the three counts that alleged he lied when he claimed he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs but still could convict him on the obstruction charge. Attorney Dennis Riordan cited Statement C when he raised those concerns.
Ruby said the motion would be filed on or before a May 20 hearing to determine if the slugger will face a new trial on the three perjury charges the jury deadlocked on after nearly four days of deliberations. Bonds' legal team could still file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals if Illston refuses to toss the guilty verdict.
A Justice Dept. spokesman, meanwhile, declined comment when asked if prosecutors would seek a new trial on the three deadlocked counts. The jurors said they overwhelmingly did not believe the government proved two counts that said Bonds lied when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone.
But prosecutors Matt Parrella and Jeff Nedrow did convince 11 of the 12 jurors that Bonds lied when he claimed he only received injections from his physician.
Still, Parrella and Nedrow might have a hard time convincing their superiors at Justice to seek a new trial after years and millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent prosecuting Bonds. Sports fans and sports journalists have complained that Bonds' alleged crimes aren't worth the resources spent on the case, and a congressman recently said at a hearing that the money spent on the Bonds case had been wasted.
"Why did it take eight years to get to this point on Barry Bonds?" Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) told The Associated Press after the verdict. "And with all the problems we've got, why are we sitting here at the end of an eight-year investigation?"
Justice Dept. officials will also have to decide whether to bring a new trial in front of a judge who has lost her temper more than a few times with prosecutors. As Bonds' lawyers and the feds tried to figure out what to do next after the jury's split-the-baby verdict, Illston snapped at Parrella as he tried to explain why the prosecutors needed time to consider a new trial.
"The trial is over," Illston said sharply. "We don't need any more speeches."
BY Michael O'Keeffe, DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Source: NY Daily News