Opening Statements Set to Begin in Bonds

Opening Statements Set to Begin in Bonds

Lawyers for the defense and prosecution prepare their opening arguments in the retired baseball player's perjury trial.

Barry Bonds leaves the federal courthouse after the first day of his trial.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Now that a jury has been selected in the Barry Bonds perjury trial, the prosecutors and the slugger's lawyers are scheduled Tuesday to deliver opening statements.

Both sides spent five hours Monday picking a jury of eight women and four men with two women alternates. The jurors were excused Monday afternoon without hearing testimony, which will begin after opening statements.

Along with the swearing in of the jury and opening statements, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston is expected to send the jurors out of the courtroom Tuesday so she can send Bonds' former personal trainer Greg Anderson to jail.

Illston told Anderson on March 1 that she plans to have him kept in custody for the length of the trial if he follows through as expected on his vow of silence. Anderson's attorney, Mark Geragos, said he will argue that Anderson can't be jailed on contempt charges because he already served a little more than a year on similar charges after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Bonds.

After she dispenses with Anderson, the jury will be seated and instructed on how to consider evidence during the two-to-four week trial. They will also be admonished from discussing the case outside of court.

Bonds, the all-time leader in home runs (762) and homers in a season (73), is facing four counts of lying to a grand jury and one of obstruction for testifying that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. He was indicted in 2007, weeks after he played his last game.

Bonds' legal team has asked the judge to specifically order jurors to refrain from discussing the case on Twitter, Facebook, or through instant messaging and other popular communication tools.

Several cases nationwide have been derailed by mistrials or appellate reversals after jurors were discovered discussing ongoing trials on social network sites.

"In a high profile case such as this, we believe that in this era of ready access to the Internet and social networks it is of paramount importance to impress upon jurors in clear, direct and plain English the requirement that they comply with the Court's prohibitions against independent research and/or disclosure from the very outset," Bonds attorney Cris Arguedas wrote in making the request to the judge March 2.

The judge hasn't indicated whether she will deliver that specific instruction.

Dressed in a dark suit and silver tie, the 46-year-old Bonds spent most of Monday speaking quietly with his attorneys and looking at prospective jurors as they underwent questioning.

Written by Paul Elias, Associated Press


Latest in news