The Barry Bonds perjury trial is expected to kick off in full force on March 21, but in the meantime there are a variety of motions and other legal maneuvers that will be conducted. Yesterday involved one such motion as Judge Susan Illston heard arguments pertaining to the inclusion of evidence and former player testimony.
Last year Judge Illston ruled a large chunk of evidence inadmissible due to hearsay rules. When Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson refused to testify it struck a huge blow to the prosecution’s case against Bonds. Yesterday, the prosecution managed to win a small victory. Judge Illston ruled that former players on the prosecution witness list will be required to testify. If they refuse, they would likely be held in contempt, much like Anderson when he refused to testify to the grand jury.
The list of players we might see in this trial includes Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Marvin Benard, Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Bobby Estallela, Randy Velarde and retired football player Larry Izzo. If these players do testify they are expected to discuss their dealings with Greg Anderson. Among other things, they would likely testify that Anderson had provided them with a variety of substances and had informed all of them that those substances were steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs known to be banned in baseball or illegal in general.
Since the prosecution can’t introduce many of the documents previously seized and Anderson is refusing to testify, they will instead look to develop a case built around more circumstantial evidence. If these players were told about the substances then Bonds must have also been told, and thus we can infer he lied to the grand jury when he said he didn’t know he was taking illegal substances.
Judge Illston’s calendar indicates next hearing is scheduled for February 11 at 11:00am. That hearing regards Bonds’ motion to bar the jury from hearing a secretly recorded conversation between Anderson and Bonds’ former business partner Steve Hoskins. This will be followed by a pre-trial on Tuesday March 1.