SAN FRANCISCO --- Barry Bonds' former personal trainer is facing prison and a judge admitted a trove of evidence during a hearing in federal court Tuesday, three weeks before the slugger's trial is scheduled to start.
Bonds also renewed his not-guilty plea after prosecutors revised the charges for the third time since the initial indictment was unsealed in November 2007. Bonds is charged with four counts of making false statements to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice. There was little doubt what his plea was going to be and that the case was going to trial March 21 after Bonds' legal team and prosecutors in February told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston that there was little chance of a plea agreement.
Likewise, there was no doubt that Bonds' former personal trainer, Greg Anderson, would tell the judge Tuesday that he has no intention of taking the stand as a government witness. Anderson made a similar pledge in 2009 before Bonds' trial was put on hold until a government appeal was resolved in Bonds' favor.
The judge said prosecutors and Bonds' legal team both want Anderson to testify. She said his testimony would spare his former clients, including several retired major league players, from being called to the witness stand to discuss how he supplied them with steroids. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow said he wants to use that evidence to support their position that Bonds was lying when he claimed "he was unwittingly duped by Mr. Anderson" into believing he was taking legal supplements.
"Much of that testimony would be unnecessary" if he testified, Illston told Anderson.
The judge ruled that the jury might hear, among other pieces of evidence:
- That prosecutors granted Bonds immunity from prosecution as long he testified truthfully about his drug use before the grand jury.
- Bonds' former personal shopper, Cathy Hoskins, testifying about Bonds' relationship with a Playboy model.
- Bonds' personal surgeon, Dr. Arthur Ting, and former girlfriend Kim Bell testifying that Bonds mistreated them.