April 4, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A juror called in sick at the Barry Bonds perjury trial Monday, forcing testimony to be postponed, while the government tried to get new evidence admitted that could abruptly turn the case in its favor.
Federal prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston that a secretly recorded conversation between Bonds' orthopedic surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting and the slugger's former business manager Steve Hoskins had been located this weekend. Prosecutors told Bonds' legal team Sunday night that Hoskins discovered the recording.
Depending on what that recording contains, and whether the jury hears it, the discovery could be a setback for Bonds. The man who owns the major league records for home runs in a career and a season is accused of lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he said he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.
Hoskins, a key prosecution witness, testified in the first week of the trial that he and Ting had at least 50 conversations about Bonds' alleged steroids use. But Ting denied that on the witness stand Thursday, and the contradiction of such an important witness appeared to mark a turning point in the case.
Now prosecutors want to play the newly discovered recording to counter Ting's damaging testimony. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella said a transcript of the conversation was being made and the judge ordered both sides back to court later Monday to discuss the matter further.
The judge also said she would investigate the nature of the missing juror's illness, which the judge said was gallstones and her clerk described as kidney stones. Either way, there's a possibility that juror No. 66 will be replaced by one of two alternates when court resumes on Tuesday.
There are currently eight women and four men on the jury. Both alternates are women.
The sick juror is an Antioch resident, age 60, a father of four and works as a data center engineer for Amazon.com.