Bonds' attorneys ask judge to set aside conviction

FILE -- Former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds leaves the federal courthouse in San Francisco after a hearing about his perjury trial, Thursday, June 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
August 25, 2011 7:29:16 PM PDT
Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds will have to wait to find out whether his conviction on obstruction of justice will be tossed out. A federal judge says she is going to take her time to make her decision.

Bonds' attorneys told ABC7 that neither they, nor their client, are disappointed with the judge's decision to take more time.

The defense asked that Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction from April be tossed on the grounds that he did eventually answer the prosecutor's questions in a 2003 grand jury testimony. Using 234 words and 75 seconds to get there is not a federal crime they say. His conviction is for a rambling answer he gave when asked if his former trainer, Greg Anderson, ever gave him a substance requiring self-injections. Prosecutors say about his answer about their friendship and being a celebrity child does not qualify as a crime under their interpretation of the law, even if he eventually gave a direct answer multiple times.

If Bonds was nervous about the outcome of Wednesday, he sure wasn't showing it.

"Going back to day one, he's always said he's had confidence in the system, felt that the system would do justice and nothing has changed," said Bonds' defense attorney Allen Ruby.

"I think this was a very close call and it really comes down to how you interpret obstruction of justice, but he obstruction of justice statute is purposefully very broad and it says that if you say anything that could be relied upon by an investigator or a prosecutor and you impede in any way the process of justice, you're guilty of a crime," said ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson. Short of acquittal on the one conviction, his lawyers are asking the judge for a new trial.

If the conviction stands, the judge will then schedule sentencing. If not, the prosecution might ask for a new trial. They have not revealed their hand on that question.


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