The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

February 13, 2013

Barry Bonds seeks dismissal of felony conviction



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It has been slightly more than nine years since prosecutors and grand jurors alike grilled a defiant Barry Bonds for hours about his relationship with performance enhancing drugs.

One rambling answer about being a "celebrity child" to a question about injections led directly to a jury finding him guilty of obstruction of justice.

On Wednesday, weeks after voters overwhelmingly rejected his Hall of Fame candidacy, his lawyers will argue for votes of a different kind that are just as important to his legacy.

The Major League Baseball career leader in homeruns is asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss out his felony conviction.

Prosecutors will square off in a San Francisco courtroom first thing in the morning with Bonds' lawyers, led by San Francisco appellate specialist Dennis Riordan, who also served as part of Bonds' all-star legal team during his three-week trial that ended in April 2011.

Bonds' lawyers claim his answer was not material to the grand jury that was investigating the illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs, that the answer was truthful but unresponsive and that Bonds answered a similar question later in his testimony.

Prosecutors argue in their court papers that the answer was "intentionally false, misleading or evasive" and urge the judges to respect the jury's verdict.

The former San Francisco Giant and Pittsburgh Pirate was asked whether Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, ever gave him "anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with?"

Bonds referred to his father, major leaguer Bobby Bonds, when he responded "that's what keeps our friendship. You know, I am sorry, but that — you know, that — I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don't get into other people's business because of my father's situation, you see ..."

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