Feds get more time to decide on Bonds retrial

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Feds get more time to decide on Bonds retrial

June 23, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (APCSN) -- A federal judge on Thursday gave prosecutors more time to decide whether home run record-holder Barry Bonds should face another perjury trial.

Bonds much-anticipated criminal trial ended inconclusively April 13 when a jury convicted the seven-time MVP on an obstruction of justice count but deadlocked on three perjury charges, the allegations at the heart of the government's case. The government tried to show that Bonds lied about using performance-enhancing drugs, which the slugger maintained he never knowingly took.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston granted the prosecutors' request for more time to decide whether to try the case again over the objections of Bonds' attorney, Allen Ruby. Ruby wanted to know immediately whether the government would continue its yearslong pursuit of Major League Baseball's career home runs leader.

But the judge testily told Ruby that prosecutors had no obligation to announce their intention until the court resolves Bonds' motion for outright acquittal or a new trial on the obstruction conviction. Bonds' attorneys say that the jury erred in concluding the slugger's rambling answer to a question about injecting steroids was meant to mislead a grand jury's investigation into sports doping.

"It seems to me manifestly unlikely a decision like that is going to be made until a decision on the motion is made," Illston said.

The two sides are next scheduled back in court on Aug. 26 to wrangle over the obstruction conviction.

The prosecution of Bonds was the last and highest-profile case arising from a sprawling sports doping investigation that shut down a steroids distribution ring headquartered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, better known as BALCO.

Bonds and two dozen other athletes from various sports testified before a grand jury in 2003 about their connection to BALCO. Bonds was one of five people charged with lying to the grand jury or federal investigators about using steroids. Track star Marion Jones and former Pro Bowl defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield pleaded guilty while Bonds was one of three to demand a trial.

He was initially charged in 2007 and only went to trial after years of delays.

Based on the outcome of two similar BALCO cases, Bonds is expected to receive a sentence of house arrest if the obstruction conviction holds up.

A majority of jurors said they voted to acquit Bonds on charges that he lied to the grand jury when he denied knowingly taking steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. They voted 11-1 to convict him of lying when he testified that no one but his doctor ever injected him with anything, but one holdout juror would not budge.

Bonds is baseball's single-season and all-time home run record holder. His last season was 2007 but he has never officially retired.

Report: Bradley accepts Chargers defensive coordinator job

Report: Bradley accepts Chargers defensive coordinator job

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley reportedly agreed Friday night to become defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The 49ers were reportedly in pursuit of Bradley to join the staff of presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan. Bradley spent four seasons as Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator prior to landing the Jacksonville job in 2013. The Jaguars were 14-48 during Bradley's tenure.

Bradley was also reportedly the top candidate for Washington’s defensive coordinator position.

Bradley agreed to join Anthony Lynn’s staff, ESPN reported. Bradley was selected for the Chargers position over defensive backs coach Ron Milus, according to the report.

Shanahan, the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, confirmed this week he intends to take part in a second interview with the 49ers early next week after the NFC Championship game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He remains as the only candidate for the 49ers' opening, which became open when Chip Kelly was fired after the team's 2-14 season.

The 49ers are not allowed to officially hire Shanahan until the Falcons’ season is over. Shanahan is expected to be involved in the process to hire the 49ers’ general manager, who replaces fired Trent Baalke. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the front-runner. He is scheduled for a second interview, likely on Tuesday in Atlanta.

Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the only other individual the 49ers interviewed who remains “in play” for the GM job, according to sources.

Green: Wins over Cavs, OKC and Rockets 'our best week of the season'

Green: Wins over Cavs, OKC and Rockets 'our best week of the season'

It may have helped that they had been at home for roughly three weeks.

It surely was to their benefit that the NBA schedule provided three days without a game before they confronted perhaps one of the most rigorous weeks of the season.

The Warriors, however, still had to do the work. They still had to finish.

They still had to beat the team that had roughed them up 22 days earlier, and then squelch another squad coming into Oracle Arena on a wave of emotion and, finally, take to the road and get back at a team that handed them a loss in Oakland.

Done, done and done. And in such a fashion that forward Draymond Green referred to it as “our best week of the season.”

In putting away the Rockets 125-108 on Friday in Houston, the Warriors closed out the traditional worker’s week with a 3-0 record against three teams they could see in the postseason. They’d already routed the defending champion Cavaliers 126-91 on Monday and struck down the Thunder 121-101 on Wednesday.

“It’s three good teams in a row,” Kevin Durant told reporters in Houston. “We definitely wanted to come out and make a nice statement, and I think we did that.

“We always can get better. We can’t relax against Orlando, Miami and Charlotte, teams that can creep up on you and have been playing well lately.”

The Magic, Heat and Hornets -- all dreadful to mediocre -- are the kinds of teams that force the Warriors to compete. They don’t stir the senses like the Cavs or the Thunder or the Rockets, three teams with credentials that demand attention from a Warriors team that sometimes cruises against lesser competition.

So this week was not just about winning games. These weren’t just wins, they were emphatic statements, profound evidence that the team remodeled last summer around the addition of Durant is coming together in the heart of the season.

The defense was tight, with Cleveland shooting 35.2 percent, OKC 42.2 percent and Houston 20.0 percent from beyond the arc, which is the only place that matters for the Rockets.

The Warriors resorted to one of their signature turbocharged third quarters to separate from the Rockets. Shooting 61.9 percent and scoring 9 points off Houston turnovers, the Warriors outscored Houston 37-22 in the third, stretching a five-point halftime lead to 20 going into the fourth quarter.

The Warriors now have an NBA-best differential of plus-250 points in the third quarter this season.

“It’s just something that we put an emphasis on,” Green said. “Coming out and getting off to a good start in the second half. Not coming out flat and giving another team life or letting them go on a run and then trying to make it up. And once we go on our run, we can get rolling pretty well and make it tough on other teams.”

That was the case this week, as the Warriors topped 50 percent from the field in all three victories.

Durant scored 32 points against Houston and averaged 31 points over the last three games. Stephen Curry put in 24 points and averaged 22.7 for the week. Green, meanwhile, averaged 12.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 3.7 blocks.

“It was our best week of the season because we’ve gotten better each time we’ve stepped on the floor this week,” Green said. “And that’s what’s most important. It’s not about blasting these three teams. It’s about getting better, and trying to reach our end goal. In order to do that, you have to get better each and every time you step on the floor.

“We did that these three games, so that’s the most important thing. That’s why it’s been a good week, not because of the margin of the wins that we had.”