Barry Bonds Convicted Of Obstruction of Justice, But Not Perjury

By Randall Stevens  |  04/14/2011

Barry BondsBarry Bonds was convicted on Wednesday (April 13), but left many unanswered questions on the table regarding his alleged steroid use.

According to, the former baseball great was found guilty of obstruction of justice Wednesday, stemming from an evasive answer he gave, under oath, more than seven years ago.

The response, in question, came when he was asked whether he received drugs that required a syringe, to which he gave a rambling response to a grand jury, stating: "I became a celebrity child with a famous father."

While Bonds was found guilty for obstruction, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on three perjury charges that Bonds made false statements when he told a grand jury in December 2003 that he never knowingly received steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) from trainer Greg Anderson, and that he allowed only doctors to inject him.

Amber, a 19-year-old woman who was the youngest juror, told ESPN reporters that the final votes were 8-4 to acquit Bonds of lying about steroids and 9-3 to acquit him on lying about HGH use, while it was 11-1 to convict him of getting an injection from someone other than his doctor, with one woman holding out, she said.

They convicted Bonds on the obstruction count on Tuesday (April 12), while deciding that they could not come to unanimous decisions on the rest before giving their verdict Wednesday.

In the courtroom, Bonds didn't have a reaction when the verdict was read, after nearly three weeks of testimony.

Outside the courtroom, when one fan asked if he was celebrating tonight, he responded: "There's nothing to celebrate."

ESPN says Dennis Riordan, a lawyer on Bonds' legal team, asked Judge Illston to throw out the guilty verdict and for a new trial on that count. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella asked the judge to set a sentencing date. Instead, Illston set a May 20 date for a status conference.

Bonds faces up to 10 years in prison on the obstruction conviction, but many don't expect Bonds to receive anywhere near that length of prison time, if any at all. Federal guidelines call for 15-21 months.

Bonds, a seven-time ML MVP, played for the San Francisco Giants last in 2007, the year he broke Hank Aaron's career home run record. He finished with 762 in his career.

As he exited the trial Wednesday, he said he wouldn't be returning to baseball.

He is the 11th person to be convicted in the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) case regarding steriod distribution, which the government began investigating in 2002. Others include Olympic sprinter Marion Jones, former NFL player Dana Stubblefield, and cyclist Tammy Thomas -— all of which were convicted of perjury or lying to federal agents.

Bonds gave testimony in the case more than seven years ago, and was first formally charged four years later.