Bonds: Judge bars secret recording from jury

Former baseball player Barry Bonds walks through the security gate as he arrives at federal court in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
April 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A federal judge has barred the jury in the Barry Bonds' perjury trial from hearing a newly discovered tape recording prosecutors say bolsters their case that the slugger knowingly took steroids.

On Wednesday morning Judge Susan Illston will make some rulings with significant impact to the case. She told the lawyers late today that she's leaning toward striking ex-girlfriend Kim Bell's testimony about Bonds' testicular shrinkage, and possibly all of her testimony, because there was no legal foundation laid for her intimate, nine-year relationship with Bonds. Bell testified she observed physical and emotional changes in Bonds that other expert witnesses linked to anabolic steroid use.

The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday after failing to get a last-minute piece of evidence before the jury. The judge ruled that a secret audio recording of Bonds former business partner Steve Hoskins and Bonds' surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting would not be allowed in because it is barely intelligible. Hoskins said he just found the 2003 tape Sunday night. Earlier, he testified he had multiple conversations about steroids with Ting, but Ting denied it when on the stand.

"When it comes down to just the answering match and you have two witnesses, disregard both of them," Golden Gate University Professor Peter Keane said.

Also on Tuesday, Bonds' 2003 grand jury testimony was read aloud by two courthouse employees to be entered as evidence. In it, Bonds is asked repeatedly if his trainer Greg Anderson, is giving him anabolic steroids and at one point he responded, "If it's steroids, it aint working."

He told the grand jury Anderson knew how he felt about steroids in baseball, saying, "He knows I'm against the stuff."

The defense said Bonds might testify on Wednesday.

"Everyone knows that Barry Bonds history is not Mr. Personality and the idea of putting Bonds on the stand is an enormous risk," Keane said.

Bonds faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges for telling a 2003 grand jury he never knowingly used anabolic steroids.

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