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Barry Bonds Trial 2011: Greg Anderson Refuses To Testify, Taken Into Custody

After the opening statements wrapped up in Barry Bonds perjury and obstruction of justice trial, Judge Susan Illston sent the jury out for an early lunch break at 11:30. Part of the reason for the early break was so that Illston could deal with the issue of former Bonds trainer Greg Anderson. Over the course of the last eight years, Anderson has spent over a year in jail due to continual refusals to testify about his dealings with Barry Bonds.

Anderson entered the courtroom with his attorney Mark Geragos and went through his normal routine. He was sworn in and then asked if he would testify. He said he was refusing to testify, at which point Judge Illston informed him he would be taken into custody by the US Marshals Service until he decided to testify. Assistant US Attoreny Matt Parrella asked for him to be fined as a further coercive measure, but Judge Illston said custody would be as coercive as she would go.

Anderson has been the proverbial smoking gun of this trial as his testimony could be sufficient to prove Bonds lied to the grand jury. However, Anderson has continually refused to testify against Bonds for reasons known only to him (and maybe Bonds and a few others). Geragos indicated he was going to appeal the order to testify to the Ninth Circuit, which could get Anderson back out of custody. It remains to be seen what kind of additional charges the government might consider in the coming months after this trial ends.

I won’t be in attendance this afternoon, but will be back in court tomorrow morning. This afternoon will feature former IRS agent Jeff Novitzky on the witness stand. If he finishes up, Steve Hoskins will start his testimony, with it likely to continue well into tomorrow. Some twitter accounts to follow for the rest of today: Tim Dalberg (AP), Mark Fainaru-Wada (ESPN) and George Dohrmann (SI).