Prosecutors Won’t Bring Bonds to Trial Again on Perjury Charges

from California Watch

Baseball slugger Barry Bonds will not face a retrial on steroids-related perjury charges.

Federal prosecutors today dismissed three felony charges of lying under oath to the grand jury that investigated the BALCO steroids scandal. In April, a jury deadlocked on the three counts.

But the jury convicted Bonds of another felony, obstruction of justice, for giving evasive testimony to the BALCO grand jury. The government contended that Bonds was using banned drugs obtained from his trainer, confessed steroids dealer Greg Anderson, and from the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative steroids lab in Burlingame.

Bonds is scheduled to be sentenced on the obstruction felony Dec. 16. He could be sentenced to federal prison, though experts believe a term of house arrest is more likely.

Lead prosecutor Matt Parrella filed the dismissal in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The dismissal was made “with prejudice,” meaning the government cannot change its mind.

The government had the right to retry Bonds because the jury failed to reach unanimous verdicts on the three counts. In interviews, jurors said they deadlocked 11-1 on a perjury charge involving Bonds’ denial that he had ever been injected by anyone other than a physician. Bonds’ former personal shopper testified in the trial that she saw Anderson give Bonds an injection in the navel. Human growth hormone is injected in the abdomen.

The jury deadlocked in favor of acquitting Bonds on charges that he lied when he said he had never used steroids or human growth hormone.

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Lance Williams is an investigative reporter with California Watch. Read more from California Watch here.

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