Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Barry Bonds Guilty of Obstruction; Mistrial on Other Counts

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 3:05 PM

click to enlarge Barry_Bonds_rookie_card.jpg

The legal community and chattering classes still have Barry Bonds' testicles to kick around. The slugger -- whose genitalia and its purported reaction to performance-enhancing drugs was on display in court -- was found guilty of obstruction of justice. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on three perjury counts, which led Judge Susan Illston to declare a mistrial.

The verdict -- which Bonds' lawyers have asked to be thrown out -- concludes a tawdry trial stemming from the all-time home run king's 2003 testimony that he never knowingly used steroids. While that statement strains anyone's credulity, it warrants mentioning that, in '03, the drug Bonds is accused of taking was not yet classified by the government as a steroid -- or illegal.

Paula Canny, an attorney for Bonds' oft-jailed trainer Greg Anderson, previously described the slugger's trial as a testosterone-fueled game of chicken. She expressed surprise at the verdict, and said she'd expected the obstruction charge to be dropped.

That charge stemmed from a rambling answer Bonds gave the grand jury in which he claimed himself to be a "celebrity child."

When asked if he'd ever been given drugs by Anderson that required him to be injected, Bonds answered thusly:

"That's what keeps our friendship. You know, I am sorry, but that -- you know

that -- I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts.

I became a celebrity child, with a famous father. I just don't get into

other people's business because of my father's situation, you see...."

It would appear that non-answer answer has led to today's outcome.

Bob Talbot, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, said today's verdict is extremely bad news for Bonds. The penalties for obstruction, he believes, are every bit as bad or worse as those for perjury. He doesn't foresee the prosecutors attempting to retry on the three remaining counts.

"I think they're pretty thrilled they got a verdict in one of the charges," he says.

The next hearing in the case will be on May 20.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival
    Crowds gathered September 6-7 for the 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown. Visitors enjoyed arts, crafts, cultural exhibits, food and a dog fashion show. Photographs by Dhoryan Rizo.
  • Felton: Touring the Redwoods
    Blue skies meet redwood canopies in the mountain town of Felton, located just north of Santa Cruz on Highway 9. Once a bustling logging community, the town is now a mix of mellow locals and serene wilderness. Visitors can enjoy the redwoods in nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and splash in swimming holes in the San Lorenzo River. For a bite to eat stop by Rocky’s Cafe for fruit-laden pancakes, barbeque at the Cowboy Bar & Grill and poolside burgers at the Trout Farm Inn. Other stops worth checking out include Roaring Camp Railroads, the Mount Hermon zip line tour, and the educational Bigfoot Discovery Museum. For beer or cocktails a log cabin bar has you covered.