Bloomberg News

Bonds Perjury Retrial Decision Delayed at Request of U.S.

June 23, 2011

(Updates with judge’s reasoning in second paragraph.)

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Any retrial of perjury charges against Barry Bonds, the Major League Baseball player convicted in April of obstructing justice in a U.S. steroids probe, will be delayed, a federal judge ruled today.

U.S District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco today agreed with prosecutors that Bonds’s attempt to get his conviction thrown out must be litigated before the government has to decide whether to retry him on the perjury charges that ended in a mistrial on April 13.

Lawyers for the all-time home run leader argued the government faced a legal deadline to say whether he will be retried on charges he lied about knowingly taking steroids, using human growth hormone and receiving injections from his trainer. The jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on those counts. Bonds’s lawyers argued any retrial should start within one month to comply with a federal law guaranteeing “speedy” trials.

Illston scheduled the next hearing for Aug. 26.

Cris Arguedas, a lawyer representing Bonds, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Parrella declined to comment.

Bonds, 46, a former San Francisco Giants outfielder, was indicted in November 2007. He was the first Major League Baseball player to be charged in a years-long federal probe of steroid use in professional sports. The maximum sentence for obstruction of justice is 10 years in prison.

The case is U.S. v. Bonds, 07-00732, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

--With assistance from Karen Gullo in San Francisco. Editors: Peter Blumberg, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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