SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 1: Greg Anderson, the former trainer for Barry Bonds, leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House March 1, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds and his former trainer Greg Anderson are appearing for an arraignment hearing ahead of a perjury trial that is expected to begin later in the month. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
Just as the jury started their first day of deliberations, confined in a small room , a key witness they never got to see was being released from another small room -- a prison cell.
Greg Anderson, longtime friend and former trainer of Barry Bonds, should not be behind bars much longer. The federal court granted a request to release Anderson who has been held at the federal prison in Dublin since March 22 for refusing to testify in the Bonds perjury case.
Anderson is a convicted steroids dealer connected to Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO), who has already spent about two years in prison for failing to testify about whether Bonds knowingly took steroids. Bonds has asserted that Anderson used substances nicknamed “the clear” and “the cream” on him in the past, but he was not aware that they were performance enhancing drugs.
Homerun king and former San Francisco Giant is on trial for three counts of perjury or “making false declarations” and obstruction of justice while giving testimony during a grand jury investigating BALCO in 2003. At first, it was four counts of perjury but prosecutors dropped one earlier this week before they rested their case.
On Thursday, during a break in closing arguments, Judge Susan Illston told attorneys on both sides that Anderson’s lawyer Mark Geragos had filed a request for his client to be released since the case was wrapping up. The judge agreed and Anderson will be freed before the day ends.
Bonds made an appearance in court today when the jury requested to see the full transcript of a 2003 conversation between Bonds’ former friend Steve Hoskins and Anderson. Hoskins secretly recorded Anderson talking to him inside the Giants clubhouse about the steroid products and how they worked.
The defense balked at the idea of allowing jurors to take a transcript into the deliberation room with them, since it was only the recording and not the transcript that was entered into evidence. The judge decided to allow the jury to hear the recording again in open court and follow along with the transcripts, but they weren’t allowed to take any of it back with them.
Lawyers on both sides have been hovering around the courthouse all day anxiously waiting for the jury to reach a verdict. Defense lawyer Allen Ruby says Bonds will remain on standby in location close to the courthouse.