Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Major League Baseball home-run king Barry Bonds, convicted of obstructing a federal probe of steroids use by athletes, should have three perjury charges against him dropped, U.S. prosecutors told a judge.
J. Douglas Wilson, deputy chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, said the office, with court permission, “dismisses counts one, two and three” of an amended indictment pending against the former San Francisco Giants outfielder, according to a filing yesterday in federal court.
Bonds was accused of knowingly lying about taking performance-enhancing drugs. According to the filing, dismissal of the perjury counts was “without prejudice,” meaning prosecutors may refile the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow, who prosecuted Bonds at trial, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment yesterday.
Bonds, 47, Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader, lost a bid to overturn his conviction for obstruction of justice. On Aug. 26, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston rejected his request for acquittal or a new trial, saying he “repeatedly provided nonresponsive answers” before a federal grand jury in 2003 about whether his trainer ever provided him with injectable substances.
Trial jurors, who convicted Bonds in April, were unable to agree on whether he lied when he told the grand jury that he didn’t knowingly take steroids, didn’t take human growth hormone and didn’t receive injections from his trainer. A mistrial was declared on those counts.
Sentencing on the obstruction conviction is scheduled for Dec. 16. Bonds faces as long as 10 years in prison.
Allen Ruby, Bonds’s attorney, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment.
Marion Jones, a former Olympic sprinter, was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges. Her coach, Trevor Graham, was sentenced to one year of home confinement by Illston for lying to federal agents. Illston sentenced former world-class cyclist Tammy Thomas to six months of home confinement for lying about taking steroids.
Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s record of 755 career home runs in August 2007. He was indicted in November of that year for allegedly lying to the grand jury.
Bonds’s attorneys said at trial that he truthfully testified that he received performance-enhancing substances from his trainer, Greg Anderson, without knowing what they were because the drugs were new at the time and because Anderson told him one was flaxseed oil.
The case is U.S. v. Bonds, 07-00732, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Michael Hytha
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