Barry Bonds, former slugger with the San Francisco Giants and the home run king of Major League Baseball has finally seen the inside of a courtroom in his long-running battle with federal prosecutors.
He is charged with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice resulting from testimony in 2003 in front of a grand jury investigating the now defunct Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO).
On Monday, after five hours of jury selection, eight women and four men were seated in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco in the courtroom of Judge Susan Illston. The judge has presided over the BALCO mess and has sentenced others who took guilty pleas or were adjudged guilty by means of a jury verdict.
Olympics cycling star, Tammy Thomas was convicted by a jury of three counts of perjury and one of obstruction and sentenced in 2008 by Judge Illston to six months home confinement rather than incarceration in a penetentiary.
At the time, the judge commented that in light of the mere four-month sentence received by BALCO founder Victor Conte, it was inappropriate forThomas to receive anything even close out of a sense of fairness.
Bonds’ mistress testifies abouto his steroid admission, testicle shrinkage and acne
With that as a basis for comparison, it is entirely possible that Barry Bonds may not spend one moment in jail after an odyssey that spanned almost eight years.
Marion Jones, former Olympic track and field star spent six months in prison for among other things, admitting to lying to federal prosecutors in the BALCO case. But Jones’ case was bundled along with another federal investigation into a counterfeit check kiting scheme. She pleaded guitly to a second count of lying in connection with that financial fraud, involving her then romantic partner, another former Olympic medalist in track and field, Tim Montgomery.
She appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karass in White Plains, N.Y. who concluded he would impose the maximum suggested by the prosecutors, which was six months in jail. Judge Karras’ decision is not binding on Judge Illston who will decide the fate of Barry Bonds should he be convicted on any or all counts currently pending against him.
This morning in Judge Illston’s courtroom, the proceedings will begin with her determination on whether she will order Bonds’ former trainer, Greg Anderson to be confined to a cell for his refusal to complay with a subpoena and testify in the case. After that it is expected that both sides will begin their opening statements to the jury.
The Bonds case, how it all began.
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