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Barry Bonds' defense rests without calling a single witness in perjury trial
By Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times
April 7, 2011
Reporting from San Francisco -- Attorneys for former Giants slugger Barry Bonds rested Wednesday without calling a single witness, clearing the way for jurors to start deliberating whether baseball's all-time home run king lied under oath when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, with the support of the prosecution, dropped one of five felony counts against Bonds because of lack of evidence. Bonds, 46, now faces a charge of obstruction of justice and three counts of lying under oath in his testimony before a grand jury in December 2003.
Illston, in another ruling, changed course Wednesday and decided against throwing out evidence that steroids cause testicles to shrink. Bonds' former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, testified that his testicles shriveled after he began using the drugs.
Bonds' lawyers had summoned a key prosecution witness to return to the stand Wednesday but rested without calling him. The defense decision means jurors will not hear Bonds testify.
Defense lawyers managed to eviscerate two of three main witnesses called by the prosecution. The third, Kathy Hoskins, testified that she saw Bonds' personal trainer inject him with an unknown substance in the navel in 2002.
Bonds told the grand jury the next year that Anderson had never injected him.
The jury of eight women and four men also heard that a urine sample from Bonds taken several months before his grand jury testimony tested positive for a steroid and a fertility drug that is sometimes used in conjunction with steroids.
Bonds admitted to the grand jury that he used two substances identified as steroids but insisted that he thought they were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream. He also testified that he took various pills that Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, gave him and never asked what the pills contained.
Anderson was sent to jail at the start of the trial for refusing to testify, but jurors heard a recording in which Anderson discussed how he injected banned drugs in response to questions about Bonds.
A conviction could lead to a lengthy prison sentence or even home confinement and affect whether Bonds is elected to the Hall of Fame.
In 2007, Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron's record for career home runs, considered the most hallowed record in Major League Baseball.