Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

444858.jpg

Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice

April 13, 2011

For complete Bonds coverage, tune to SportsNet Central at 6, 10:30 and midnight.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sign up for Breaking News Alerts and receive e-mail and text alerts when headlines happen.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal jury convicted Barry Bonds of a single charge of obstruction of justice Wednesday but failed to reach a verdict on the three counts at the heart of allegations that he knowingly used steroids and human growth hormone and lied to a grand jury about it.

Following a 12-day trial and almost four full days of deliberation, the jury of eight women and four men could reach a unanimous verdict only on one of the four counts against Bonds. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on the others, a messy end to a case that put the slugger and baseball itself under a cloud of suspicion for more than three years.

Bonds sat stone-faced through the verdict, displaying no emotion. His legal team immediately asked that the guilty verdict be thrown out and Illston did not rule on the request. She set May 20 for a hearing in the case.

RATTO: Verdict doesn't change public perception of Bonds

The case also represented the culmination of the federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroids ring. Federal prosecutors and the Justice Department will have to decide whether to retry Bonds on the unresolved counts.

The counts that the jury could not resolve accused of Bonds of lying to the grand jury investigating BALCO in 2003 when he said he never knowingly took steroids or HGH, and when he said he was never injected by anyone except his doctors.

The maximum sentence for the obstruction of justice count is 10 years in prison, but federal guidelines called for 15-21 months. For similar offenses in the BALCO case, Illston sentenced cyclist Tammy Thomas to six months of home confinement and track coach Trevor Graham to one year of home confinement.

Bonds walked out of the courthouse with his lawyers, who instructed him not to comment because they said the case isn't over.

Impeccably dressed in suit and tie, Bonds flashed a victory sign to a few fans.

"Are you celebrating tonight?" one asked.

"There's nothing to celebrate," he replied.

Lead defense attorney Allen Ruby said the prosecution failed to prove the heart of its case.

The obstruction of justice count was a complicated charge that asked jurors to decide if Bonds was being evasive when making any one of seven statements to the grand jury. He was convicted on a single statement about his childhood as the son of major leaguer Bobby Bonds and his relationship with personal trainer Greg Anderson it did not address performance-enhancing drugs.

The government "has determined it's unlawful for Barry Bonds to tell the grand jury he's a celebrity child and to talk about his friendship with Greg Anderson," Ruby said.

The foreman of the jury, who would only give his first name, Fred, said if prosecutors want to "pursue this case, they're going to have to do more homework than they did."

A juror who also gave just her first name, Amber, said that the final votes 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 holding out, she said.

RELATED: Reaction varied after Bonds found guilty

The so-called needle count accused Bonds of lying when he said that no one other than his doctors injected him with anything. His personal shopper, Kathy Hoskins, testified that she saw Anderson inject Bonds in the navel before a roadtrip in 2002. Hoskins was not sure what substance was being injected.

Amber noted that Bonds' former mistress, Kimberly Bell, testified he complained of soreness from injections. "That's what kind of stuck out for me," the juror said.

The jury foreman said the woman who held out on the needle count did so because Hoskins was the only eyewitness.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said prosecutors were gratified by the guilty count and had not decided whether to seek a retrial on the remaining charges.

Now 46, Bonds set baseball's career home run record with 762 while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants from 1986-2007. The jury met less than two miles from the ballpark where the seven-time NL MVP played for his last 15 years.

Bonds was indicted on Nov. 15, 2007, exactly 50 days after taking his final big league swing and 100 after topping Hank Aaron's career home run mark of 755. He also set the season record with 73 home runs in 2001 with the Giants.

Illston would not let prosecutors present evidence of three alleged positive drug tests by Bonds because Anderson refused to testify and there was no one to confirm the samples came from Bonds.

Bonds acknowledged that he did take steroids but said Anderson misled him into believing they were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream.

Anderson was sentenced by Illston in 2005 to three months in prison and three months in home confinement after pleading guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of steroid distribution. The trainer was jailed on March 22 for the duration of the trial after again refusing to testify against Bonds. He was released last Friday.

Jeff Novitzky, the federal agent who started the BALCO probe, had been hoping the Bonds case would be part of a wider investigation of doping in baseball. Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Novitzky and his team of investigators illegally seized urine samples and records from 104 players in 2004.

Separately, Novitzky has helped develop the case against former star pitcher Roger Clemens, who is scheduled to stand trial in July for lying to Congress by denying he used performance-enhancing drugs. Novitzky also is a key player in the federal doping investigation of pro cyclists, including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican, recently suggested that the federal agent is motivated by a desire to bring down a celebrity.

Warriors end drought vs Cavs in dominant fashion

Warriors end drought vs Cavs in dominant fashion

BOX SCORE

After dropping four straight games to the Cavs, including the NBA Finals, the Warriors came out firing Monday night at Oracle Arena. Golden State finished off Cleveland with a 126-91 rout.

Out of the gates, vengeance was felt in the building. The Warriors came out hitting on all cylinders, leading 78-49 at halftime. 

Stephen Curry continued his recent resurgence, having his presence felt all over the floor. Curry ended with 20 points and 11 assists. Kevin Durant (21) and Klay Thompson (26) each tallied over 20 points as this scoring trio continues to grow. The three all scored at least 20 points in the same game for the 14th time this season.

Both Curry and Durant stayed on the bench for the whole fourth quarter.

Draymond Green came away with yet another triple-double while playing outstanding defense. Green notched 11 points to go with 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He also added five blocks.

Coming off the bench, Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 14 points while handing out five assists. Iguodala was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and made both of his free throw attempts.

LeBron James led the Cavs with 20 points and eight rebounds.

The Warriors improved to 35-6 on the season with the win.

New chapter unfolds in Draymond-LeBron saga

New chapter unfolds in Draymond-LeBron saga

OAKLAND -- Add a new conflict to the war between Draymond Green and Lebron James.

With 6:55 left in the second quarter of the Cavaliers-Warriors game at Oracle Arena on Monday, Green was assessed with a Flagrant Foul 1 after colliding with James, who was barreling toward the basket on a fast break.

Upon contact, James went down hard and remained face down for a few moments. Cleveland teammate Richard Jefferson confronted Green, with both men gesturing, though no actual blows were thrown.

The officiating crew, led by Ed Malloy, took several minutes to review the play and concluded that Green deserved a flagrant, while also slapping Green and Jefferson with double technical fouls for their mini-skirmish.

Though he outweighs Green by at least 20 pounds, James reacted to the collision with his head snapping back as the ball went flying out of his hands. He landed on his right side before turning face down to the floor.

Incensed at James’ reaction, Green mimicked a flop as he walked toward the Warriors bench.

This is the latest manifestation of the bad blood between Green and James, who were involved in a crucial play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals last season. That skirmish resulted in Green being suspended for Game 5.