Bonds Slated for Trial in March

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Barry Bonds is headed to trial next March on federal charges of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The trial date was set yesterday after baseball's home run king pleaded not guilty when he was re-arraigned in San Francisco on 15 felony counts of lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

Lead Bonds attorney Allen Ruby pleaded not guilty to the charges on the slugger's behalf, while Bonds stood silently in front of the judge. Ninety minutes later, Ruby agreed to a March 2, 2009, trial date before a second judge.

Bonds pleaded not guilty to similar accusations in December, but a judge ordered prosecutors to rewrite the indictment. The new indictment includes no new allegations.

Bonds was charged with 14 counts of lying under oath and one count of obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors say Bonds lied when he told a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, known as Balco, in 2003 that he never knowingly took steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

A jury earlier this year convicted cyclist Tammy Thomas of lying to the same grand jury that Bonds is accused of misleading. Last month, another jury convicted track coach Trevor Graham of lying to federal investigators. In all, six of the 11 people charged in connection with the Balco investigation were accused of lying during the government's investigation, which started in 2002.

Five men, including Bonds's personal trainer Greg Anderson, have pleaded guilty to selling performance-enhancing drugs.

-- From News Services

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