Feds take another swing

Home run king Barry Bonds was hit Tuesday with a new indictment of 14 felony charges of lying to a grand jury about his use of steroids and one charge of hampering the federal investigation into doping by a Bay Area laboratory.

The new indictment comes after U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled in February that a previous indictment was too vague.

The case centers on whether the Giants’ longtime left fielder lied about steroid use when he testified before a federal grand jury investigating steroid distribution and money laundering by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a Burlingame-based company.

Bonds, who currently is unemployed but says he wants to play, was indicted in November on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.

That indictment came three months after Bonds broke one of the most hallowed records in sports, Hank Aaron’s career home run milestone of 755.

The slugger’s monumental season has so far been his last because no team has elected to sign the free agent.

In December, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carried a maximum of 30 years in federal prison, but at the time, his attorneys expressed concerns about what they described as serious flaws in the indictment.

The original indictment alleged Bonds lied 19 times during his testimony when he denied ever knowingly taking steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.

During his 2003 testimony, Bonds was presented with “doping” calendars with his initials and other evidence, according to documents unsealed in February.

Federal prosecutors were ordered Feb. 29 to amend the indictment of Bonds, in what is called a superseding indictment, so that it does not include multiple alleged offenses in a single charge.

Such a circumstance could prove confusing to jurors because they could find one offense to be true and one offense false in a single charge, Bonds’ attorneys argued during the hearing.

The superseding indictment filed Tuesday charges Bonds with one count of obstruction of justice and 14 counts of lying to the grand jury in 2003. It alleges Bonds lied about when he received substances from his personal trainer and childhood friend Greg Anderson, whether he knowingly took steroids offered by Anderson and whether he was injected with a substance by Anderson or others.

Bonds’ attorney Allen Ruby said Bonds would need to be re-arraigned and submit new pleas to the charges, which he added would be “not guilty.”

“Barry Bonds is innocent,” Ruby said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office offered no further comment beyond the new indictment.

The case will be back in court June 6 for a status conference, Ruby said.


The prosecution of Bonds and BALCO

Events leading up to Tuesday’s reindictment of former Giants left fielder Barry Bonds, baseball’s home run king

» Dec. 4, 2003: Barry Bonds testifies to a federal grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by personal trainer Greg Anderson, but that he didn’t know they were steroids, according to leaked grand jury transcripts.

» Feb. 12, 2004: Anderson, track coach Remi Korchemny, BALCO President Victor Conte and BALCO Vice President James Valente are charged in a 42-count federal indictment with running a steroid-distribution ring.

» July 15, 2005: Conte and Anderson plead guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering. Valente pleads guilty to one count of distributing illegal steroids.

» Oct. 18,2005: Conte is sentenced to four months in prison and four months’ home confinement. Anderson is sentenced to three months in prison and three months’ home confinement. Valente is sentenced to probation.

» Dec. 1, 2005: Conte begins serving a four-month prison sentence.

» March 30, 2006: Conte is released from prison. He insists he never gave performance-enhancing drugs to Bonds.

» April 14, 2006: Sources say a federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds committed perjury when he testified in 2003 that he never knowingly used steroids.

» July 5, 2006: Anderson is found in contempt of court and ordered back to prison after refusing to testify before the federal grand jury investigating Bonds for perjury.

» July 27, 2006: Anderson appears before a new grand jury.

» Aug. 17, 2006: Anderson again refuses to testify before a grand jury investigating Bonds.

» Aug. 28, 2006: Anderson is sent back to jail for not testifying.

» Oct. 5, 2006: A judge orders Anderson released because of a “legal snafu.”

» Nov. 20, 2006: Anderson returns to prison for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury.

» Dec. 27, 2006: An appeals court rules the names and urine samples of about 100 MLB players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs three years ago can be used by investigators.

» Feb. 20, 2007: Bonds starts spring training with a pointed challenge to prosecutors: “Let them investigate. Let them, they’ve been doing it this long.”

» Aug. 7, 2007: Bonds hits his 756th career home run to break baseball’s all-time record, which Hank Aaron held for more than three decades.

» November 2007: Bonds’ contract with the Giants expires. The left fielder, who has played for the Giants since 1993, becomes a free agent.

» Nov. 15, 2007: Federal prosecutors indict Bonds on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges, accusing him of lying to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs. A judge orders Greg Anderson released from prison.

» Feb. 29: Judge agrees with Bonds’ attorney that prosecutors must edit out many of the alleged lies or seek a new indictment, which could contain more charges. Judge also orders Bonds’ secret grand jury testimony to be unsealed.

» Tuesday: Federal prosecutors file a new indictment, charging Bonds with 14 counts of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancers and one count of obstruction of justice.

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