Barry Bonds Found Guilty Of 1 Count In Steroids Case
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Barry Bonds did not strike out yesterday, but he didn't get a walk either. A jury could not agree on the most serious charges against one of the greatest baseball players of recent decades, perhaps all time. They did not convict Bonds of lying in sworn testimony about his drug use. But the jury did convict him of obstructing justice with evasive and misleading testimony. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.
TOM GOLDMAN: A case that took a number of years and lots of dollars to get to trial, we expect it to end with a trumpet blast. But those expectations that Barry Bonds would be slapped down or exonerated became a little bit of both, like someone stuffed a mute inside the trumpet. The partial verdict by a jury unanimous on one count and divided on three others prompted reactions that could best be described as partial.
GOLDMAN: Bonds' defense team focused on the part it put in the win column - the three counts that were dismissed, counts that were considered the heart of the case against Bonds, that he allegedly lied to the 2003 grand jury when he said he never knowingly took banned drugs. Here's Bonds' lawyer, Chris Arguedas.
CHRIS ARGUEDAS: We're very gratified that after a long deliberation and 25 witnesses, our client was not convicted of anything that had to do with performance enhancing drugs or steroids or human growth hormone or injections.
GOLDMAN: That doesn't mean Bonds was not linked to drugs. He and his lawyers admitted he used. But the case was about whether he knew they were banned drugs when he got them from his former personal trainer, Greg Anderson, and took them. Fred Jacob was the jury foreman.
FRED JACOB: So you had to put steroids, Greg Anderson and Barry Bonds all together with the evidence presented to us. And that didn't happen.
GOLDMAN: After the jury asked to re-hear testimony by a woman who said she saw Anderson inject Bonds, the panel was unanimous - 12-to-0 - that Bonds was guilty of lying on count two - where he said no one other than his doctors ever injected him. Juror Steve - he didn't want to use his last name - says after they took that unanimous vote, they left for the day.
INSKEEP: And we said let's go home. We'll sleep on it. We need to do more deliberation on other counts. We came back and one of the jurors changed their mind.
GOLDMAN: So it was 11-to-1, but close doesn't count - a fact that frustrated juror Amber Reed.
AMBER REED: I was definitely, you know, heartbroken that we couldn't bring it together.
GOLDMAN: Tom Goldman, NPR News, San Francisco.
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