04/13/11 12:16 PM ET
Bonds jury finishes third day of deliberations
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
Tuesday marked the first day devoted solely to deliberations for the eight women and four men tasked with determining whether Bonds made false declarations and obstructed justice when he testified before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) grand jury in 2003.
Friday's first day of deliberations was interrupted three times with visits to Judge Susan Illston's courtroom, once to hear amended instructions and twice by jury requests for repeat testimony, including a replaying that day of the secretly recorded conversation former business manager Steve Hoskins had with trainer Greg Anderson.
Then, Monday's second day began in the courtroom with the re-reading of Kathy Hoskins' testimony about witnessing Anderson injecting Bonds, a reading the jury had requested on Friday that lasted about 1 hour, 15 minutes as the fourth week of the trial began.
On Tuesday, the jury spent the entire day in the deliberation room, except for a lunch break, and they suspended discussions for the day around 3:15 p.m. PT without rendering a verdict.
The jurors returned to the Phillip Burton Federal Building at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday to continue their deliberations. Conventional wisdom is that juries deliberate one day per week of testimony, and Wednesday is the fourth day; there were three weeks of testimony.
While the deliberations are ongoing, Bonds and his lawyers and supporters -- including his mother, Pat -- have continued to wait it out in an attorney's lounge one floor below the courtroom, ready for when a verdict comes.
Bonds, the Major Leagues' all-time leader in home runs with 762 and a seven-time Most Valuable Player, is standing trial on three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice based on his appearance before the BALCO grand jury, in which he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs. One of what originally were four charges of making false statements was dropped prior to closing arguments.
If found guilty of any of the charges, Bonds faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, although federal sentencing guidelines suggest 15-20 months and earlier convictions of false testimony in the BALCO case had sentences of house arrest. Cyclist Tammy Thomas served six months of home confinement and track coach Trevor Graham served a year of home confinement after being convicted of lying to BALCO investigators. Both received their sentences from Judge Illston, who is presiding over this case as well.
Thomas was found guilty of four of six counts against her, including obstruction of justice, and angrily shouted at the jury and prosecutors upon reading of the verdict. In the Graham case, the jury came back with one conviction but was unable to reach a consensus on two other charges. Eight others involved in the BALCO investigation -- including BALCO founder Victor Conte and Anderson -- pleaded guilty.
Count One of the charges against Bonds relates to a question Bonds was asked regarding whether Anderson had given him something he knew to be a steroid, with Bonds saying, "Not that I know of." Count Two has to do with questions of whether anyone other than a physician had injected him, to which Bonds answered, "No, no." Count Three was a question of whether he'd ever received human growth hormone from Anderson, to which Bonds answered, "No." The obstruction of justice charge is based on Bonds' overall testimony being corruptly evasive and misleading.
The requests for a replay the Steve Hoskins tape and to hear a re-reading of Kathy Hoskins' testimony would appear to center on Count Two, since both pieces of evidence had to do with Bonds receiving injections from someone not a medical professional.
The case was estimated to run three to four weeks, and Wednesday will mark the 16th day of the proceedings as the fourth week continues.
Bonds, now 46, surpassed Hank Aaron's previous career record of 755 homers in 2007. A 14-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner whose seven MVP Awards are a record, Bonds set the single-season mark for homers with 73 in '01. He also stands as the all-time leader in walks with 2,558 and intentional walks with 688 and remains the only player to record 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.