Jurors on April 8 began their deliberations in the Barry Bonds federal perjury trial, the day after both sides made their closing statements.
According to reports, the verdict is expected to come down to whether Bonds’ defense was able to discredit the government’s witnesses.
“The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Allen Ruby, one of Bonds’ defense attorneys, said in federal court in San Francisco, according to The New York Daily News. “The key word in this instruction is 'proof.' Proof is not a lawyer standing in front of you and saying overwhelmingly so. Proof is what is coming from a witness that you believe.”
In his closing argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow said all Bonds had to do to avoid prosecution was be truthful in his initial grand jury testimony in 2003. According to The Wall Street Journal, based on testimony of other athletes who say they bought steroids from Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, Nedrow told the jury that “you can infer Bonds knew he was getting steroids.”
Anderson remains in jail for refusing to testify.
The prosecution also brought Bonds’ ex-mistress, Kimberly Bell, to the witness stand. Bell initially said Bonds’ testicles shrank and his sexual performance declined, a side effect of steroid use. However, Bell later said that she exaggerated that testimony, a reversal which Bonds defense lawyers seized on.
“I am writing a closing argument because these people thought it was a good idea to bring Kim Bell here to admit she committed perjury about the size of Barry Bonds' testicles,” a Bonds defense attorney said according to the Daily News.
Bonds defense attorney Cris Arguedas introduced medical records from the San Francisco Giants that said that Bonds testicles were normal, prompting Ruby to tell the Journal that “there has been a complete failure of proof by the government.”
Bonds faces three perjury counts and one count of obstruction of justice, which could each carry a 10-year prison sentence each according to CNN. A fourth count of perjurt was dropped by prosecutors on April 6.