08/30/11 4:04 PM ET
Bonds' sentencing scheduled for Dec. 16
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
Judge Susan Illston on Friday denied Bonds' motion to dismiss or retry the obstruction charge, the one conviction brought against Bonds in his trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, which ended April 13.
A seven-time Most Valuable Player who set the single-season and career home run records during his 22-year career, Bonds was convicted of obstruction but the jury could not come to a consensus on any of three counts of making false declarations. The charges were based on Bonds' 2003 testimony before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) grand jury, in which he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.
According to the indictment against Bonds, the maximum penalty for the obstruction charge is "10 years maximum imprisonment, $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, $100 special assessment fee." But federal sentencing guidelines reportedly suggest 15-21 months, and previous BALCO sentences suggest Bonds could be given house arrest.
Illston, who has presided over the cases brought by the BALCO investigation, previously sentenced cyclist Tammy Thomas to six months of home confinement and track coach Trevor Graham to one year of home confinement. Thomas was convicted of three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing justice but was acquitted of two perjury charges. Graham was convicted of one count of giving false statements, and the jury deadlocked on two other charges.
Illston ruled Friday that the record showed Bonds "endeavored to obstruct the grand jury" when he rambled and talked about friendship, fishing and being a "celebrity child" when asked whether trainer Greg Anderson ever had injected him with anything. The defense still could appeal the conviction.
The government has yet to announce whether it will retry any of the charges that wound up in a hung jury. While two wound up in favor of acquittal, according to jurors, Count Two -- also relating to whether Bonds received injections from Anderson -- was 11-1 in favor of conviction.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.