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No verdict yet in Barry Bonds perjury trial

By Alan Duke

San Francisco (CNN) – Jurors in Barry Bonds’ perjury and obstruction of justice trial will return for a third day of deliberations Tuesday.

The panel failed to reach a verdict on Monday.

They listened to a re-reading of the testimony of Kathy Hoskins, Bonds’ childhood friend and later his personal shopper, Monday morning and then returned to the jury room for deliberations.

Hoskins testified in the trial that she saw Bonds’ trainer inject him with a syringe at his home in 2002.

Defense lawyers argued that the woman lied about the incident to help her brother Steve Hoskins, also a key witness, who had a bitter dispute with Bonds that could have resulted in criminal charges.

Major League Baseball’s home run king is accused of lying to a federal grand jury in 2003 about knowingly taking anabolic steroids and getting injections from anyone but his doctors.

A prosecutor argued last week that Bonds lied because he knew that the truth about his steroid use would “tinge his accomplishments” and hurt his baseball career.

“His secret was so powerful that he couldn’t admit it, wouldn’t admit it,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow said in his closing arguments.

Defense lawyers argued that prosecutors essentially entrapped Bonds with their questioning in December 2003, before the federal grand jury investigating the illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.

“What do you think about bringing in someone in without a lawyer and misleading him about what is going on and then having two highly trained prosecutors presenting questions to him during a grand jury session?” defense lawyer Allen Ruby asked.

Bonds, 46, is on trial for in a San Francisco federal court for three perjury counts and one count of obstruction of justice, each carrying a 10-year prison sentence upon conviction. Prosecutors dropped a fourth perjury charge last week.

A key question for the jury to decide is not if Bonds ever used steroids, but when did it start. His grand jury denial only related to steroid use before the 2003 season.

A urine sample given by Bonds in the summer of 2003, just months before his grand jury testimony, tested positive for anabolic steroids, but another sample taken weeks earlier tested negative for the drugs.

The jury also must decide if Bonds was telling the truth when he told the grand jury that no one other than a doctor had ever given him an injection.

Kathy Hoskins testified that she was in Bonds’ bedroom, packing his suitcase for a trip in 2002, when Bonds told trainer Greg Anderson to “stay right here.” He then lifted his shirt, she said, and Anderson injected him in his belly button with a syringe.

” ‘This is Katy. That’s my girl. She don’t say nothing to nobody,’ ” Hoskins said Bonds assured his trainer.

The defense argued that she and her brother, Steve Hoskins, became key prosecution witnesses because of a financial dispute with Bonds that could have resulted in criminal charges.

Steve Hoskins, a childhood friend who worked for a decade as Bonds’ assistant, testified that he tried to persuade Bonds to stop using anabolic steroids in 2000 and 2003.

Bonds’ defense lawyer argued that his cooperation with the government was motivated by his bitterness over Bonds firing him and by a desire for protection from prosecution for allegedly stealing money from Bonds.

Bonds had reported to the FBI that Hoskins stole money from him, an investigation that was initially handled by the same U.S. attorney’s office that is prosecuting Bonds, according to testimony.

Prosecutors played an audio recording that Hoskins secretly made in the San Francisco Giants locker room, of a conversation with the trainer who allegedly gave Bonds anabolic steroids.

Bonds’ defense attorney suggested that Hoskins made the recording only after Bonds fired him in March 2003.

The muffled recording was replayed to jurors at their request Friday, in the middle of their first day of deliberations.

Although he never witnessed Bonds being injected, Hoskins said, he saw Bonds and Anderson emerge from a bedroom with a syringe during spring training in 2000.

Bonds complained to him that year that steroid injections “were making his butt sore,” Hoskins said.

Jurors never heard testimony from Bonds’ trainer, because Anderson chose for a third time to go to jail rather than serve as a prosecution witness against his former client.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston found Anderson in contempt of court on the first day of trial testimony when his lawyer informed her that he would not take the stand to answer questions about Bonds’ steroid use. She signed an order releasing him from custody Friday.

The absence of the trainer’s testimony hampered the government’s case against Bonds, who is charged with lying under oath when he testified about his steroids use in 2003 before the grand jury that was investigating an alleged sports doping scandal involving Anderson of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative.

With Anderson not taking the stand, prosecutors were unable to show jurors calendars that allegedly kept track of Bonds’ steroid usage.

Ruby told jurors that Bonds acknowledged to the grand jury that he used the substances known as “the clear and the cream,” but at the time of his testimony, even investigators didn’t know what was in them.

Bonds told the grand jury he thought Anderson was giving him flaxseed oil, Ruby said.

Nedrow, in his closing, said it was “implausible” that Bonds would take drugs “and really not know what they were.”

A urine sample given by Bonds in summer 2003, just months before his grand jury testimony, tested positive for anabolic steroids, he said. The defense argued that there was another sample taken weeks earlier that tested negative for the drugs.

Defense lawyer Cristina Arguedas, in her part of closing arguments, accused prosecutors of ignoring crimes by witnesses in exchange for their testimony against Bonds.

“They will forgive it if that person will say something bad about Barry Bonds,” Arguedas said.

Bonds’ former girlfriend Kimberly Bell testified for the prosecution that she witnessed physical and emotional changes in Bonds that the government argued were indications of steroids use.

Bell testified during the trial that she had committed perjury when she told the same grand jury in 2003 that she had not noticed Bonds’ shrunken testicles.

Bell also admitted she had committed mortgage fraud by lying on a home loan application, Arguedas said.

The trial began last month in a San Francisco federal courthouse less than two miles from the ballpark where Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s major league home run record in August 2007.

In November of that year, Bonds — a star on the San Francisco Giants who ended up with 762 career home runs — was indicted.

In his 21-year major league career, Bonds also set the record for most home runs in a single season in 2001, when he hit 73. He did not officially retire after he was indicted, but he never played another game.

The eight women and four men on the jury heard 25 prosecution witnesses over two weeks, but the defense rested last week without calling a witness.

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