Barry Bonds' confident defense team rested its case Wednesday without calling a single witness, just minutes after a federal judge accepted the government's request to dismiss one of the five counts against the home run king.
Prosecutors called 25 witnesses to the stand over 21/2 weeks, but the defense needed just one minute to present its side in the federal perjury case in San Francisco. The jury of eight women and four men barely had time to get settled in court before being told to return this morning for closing arguments.
“We are expecting that you will get this case for decision tomorrow,” U.S. District Judge Susan Illston told them. “Tomorrow will be the last day.”
Once indicted on as many as 15 counts, Bonds will face just four charges when the jury starts deliberations in a courthouse less than two miles from the ballpark where he set records for the San Francisco Giants. A decision could come as early as Friday – when the World Series championship flag is raised in San Francisco for the first time.
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Faced with a defense motion that Illston was prepared to grant, prosecutors dropped the count accusing Bonds of lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he said prior to that season he never took anything other than vitamins from trainer Greg Anderson.
The defense said the government presented no evidence that Bonds was given Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) and a testosterone ointment, designer steroids known as “The Clear” and “The Cream,” before 2003. Bonds testified in front of the grand jury that Anderson told him the substances were flaxseed oil and arthritic balm.
The remaining counts charge Bonds with lying when he denied knowingly receiving steroids from Anderson, denied getting human growth hormone from Anderson and said he only allowed himself to be injected by doctors. The final count accuses Bonds of obstruction of justice.
Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew won’t be traveling to Minneapolis to throw the first pitch before the Twins’ home opener against Oakland on Friday because the trip from Arizona would disrupt his treatment schedule for esophageal cancer. Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn had an emergency appendectomy Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo., and will miss at least five games. The Rockies put ace Ubaldo Jimenez on the 15-day disabled list so he can recover from a cracked cuticle on his pitching thumb. The Cubs will put pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner on the 15-day DL because of arm injuries.