The judge presiding over the federal perjury trial of Roger Clemens has moved the start of the retrial up one day to April 16 and has set a schedule for pretrial motions from either side.Judge Reggie Walton issued an order this week setting in place the final steps toward the retrial of the former pitcher, starting with a deadline of Monday for either side to present pretrial motions. Opposition to any motions presented will be due by April 4, and a pretrial hearing is slated for April 13. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who was one of baseball's biggest pitching stars in a 24-year career, was indicted in 2010 on six charges of perjury, giving false statements and obstruction of Congress. The charges are based on his '08 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in which he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.
In the first attempt to try Clemens last July, Walton declared a mistrial on the second day of testimony after the government showed inadmissible evidence to the jury.It was in pretrial motions in advance of the July proceedings that Walton granted a defense motion to exclude mention of an affidavit Andy Pettitte's wife, Laura, had given to the House Committee saying that her husband told her about a conversation he had with Clemens regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Walton ruled that her affidavit could not come into the trial unless the defense attempted to attack Andy Pettitte's credibility, which the defense said in its opening statement before the jury that it did not intend to do. When the prosecution early in its case showed video including a written transcript of Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) questioning Clemens during the 2008 hearing and discussing Laura Pettitte's affidavit, the trial came to an abrupt halt. Within hours, Walton granted a defense motion for mistrial, sending the case into limbo while Walton weighed arguments about whether the trial could be restarted. Walton, a U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, denied a defense motion in September to dismiss the charges against Clemens and bar a retrial, setting the original trial date of April 17, now bumped up a day to a Monday.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.