Bonds hearing postponed again

SAN FRANCISCO – A post-trial hearing date for Barry Bonds has been postponed a second time and is now tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 24.

The U.S. District Court, Northern California District, said in a document released Tuesday that the court is unavailable for the rescheduled date of June 17. A hearing before Judge Susan Illston was originally scheduled for May 20 in the same San Francisco courtroom where Bonds’ federal trial was held.

Bonds, a seven-time Most Valuable Player whose conquests of the single-season and career home run records capped a 22-year career, was convicted on just a single obstruction of justice count on April 13.

But a jury panel of eight women and four men could not come to a consensus on any of the three counts of making false declarations in relation to Bonds’ 2003 testimony before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) grand jury, in which he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.

The hearing is expected to include a defense motion to set aside the obstruction of justice conviction against Bonds. When the jury reached its decision on April 13, Bonds’ defense attorneys said they would seek to get Bonds’ verdict “overruled” by Illston.

The government also could determine then whether it will pursue retrial of any of the three charges that Bonds made false declarations to the 2003 grand jury that wound up being declared a mistrial.

A sentencing date for the obstruction conviction also could be set at that time.

The original hearing date of May 20 was moved at the request of both defense and prosecution attorneys. Defense attorneys said one reason for its request was to provide additional time in the event of a retrial.


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