The jury in the Barry Bonds perjury trial listened to a secret recording of the slugger’s ex-trainer allegedly talking about injecting Bonds with steroids after the panel asked to see a transcript of the conversation in its first full day of deliberations.
The 2003 recording, which was played for the jury at trial March 23 after Bonds’s attorneys lost a bid to keep it out, captured a conversation between Steve Hoskins, Bonds’s ex-business partner, and Greg Anderson, Bonds’s former weight trainer, in which prosecutors say Anderson talked about shots he gave to Bonds.
Bonds, 46, Major League Baseball’s home-run record holder, faces three counts of lying to a 2003 grand jury about whether he took steroids provided by Anderson and received injections from the trainer.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston told jurors that the transcript they sought wasn’t evidence, only the recording was. As Bonds sat at the defense table, they listened to the tape, with several taking notes. Anderson is heard talking about cysts that can form at injection sites on the body, and Hoskins asks about “Barry’s.”
“I never just go there, I move it all over the place,” said a voice on the recording that Hoskins and a written transcript said was Anderson. The substances used were “undetectable,” Anderson is alleged to have said on the tape. Anderson had been discussing how the shots sometimes caused cysts that had to be drained.
Hoskins, a government witness, testified that he secretly recorded Anderson in the clubhouse at the San Francisco Giants ballpark and intended to show Bonds’s father Bobby “what was going on” after Bonds and Anderson denied steroid use to the elder Bonds. Bobby, like Barry, played outfield for the Giants and Bobby Bonds also coached the team.
Bonds’s lawyers told jurors yesterday in their closing argument that the government’s witnesses were unreliable.
The tape “is pretty good evidence for the prosecution,” said University of San Francisco law professor Robert Talbot, who is following the case and isn’t involved in it. “It could mean that someone on the jury thinks it’s strong from the prosecution, or could mean someone thinks it doesn’t show that much,” he said in a telephone interview.
The trial began March 21. The jury of eight women and four men began deliberations late yesterday after hearing 4 1/2 hours of closing arguments.
In addition to the perjury charges, Bonds faces one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly providing evasive answers to questions about Anderson, taking steroids and getting injections.
His lawyers say he truthfully testified that he received performance-enhancing substances from Anderson, not knowing what they were because they were new at the time.
The case is U.S. v. Bonds, 07-00732, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).