Monday, February 14, 2011
Defense seeks ban on temper testimony
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' attorneys are seeking to keep details about the slugger's temper from the jury. Prosecutors want no mention of federal investigators surpassing the limits of a search warrant during a raid of a laboratory tasked with testing urine samples of all Major League Baseball players for steroid use.
On Monday, Bonds' attorneys and prosecutors filed a flurry of legal papers seeking to limit what the other side can show the jury once the slugger's perjury trial starts on March 21.
The Bonds legal team is concerned the jury will hear testimony that Bonds routinely berated those around him and disrespected underlings. His lawyers argue such testimony will unfairly sway the jury and has nothing to do with proving Bonds lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied knowingly taking performance enhancing drugs.
Bonds is also demanding that much of the expected testimony of his former mistress Kimberly Bell be excluded. Bell is expected to testify that she noticed physical and mental symptoms such as a short and violent temper that she attributed to steroid use.
Bonds' attorneys argue that Bell has no scientific or medical background to draw such conclusions and that even experts disagree over side effects of steroids such as male pattern baldness, testes shrinkage and a loss of sexual desire.
Bell says she saw all of these things and more during her time with Bonds.
Bonds' legal team wants the judge to "preclude the government from seeking to present evidence concerning changes in Mr. Bonds' physical or mental condition from any source."
They also renewed their objections to allowing the testimony of current baseball player Jason Giambi and several former teammates. Those players are expected to testify that Bonds' former personal trainer supplied them with steroids and showed them how to use them.
Prosecutors hope to use that testimony to support their theory that Anderson supplied Bonds with performance enhancing drugs with such detailed instructions that there is no way Bonds could have unwittingly used steroids.
Anderson is refusing to testify against Bonds and is likely to be jailed during the month-long trial.
For their part, prosecutors sought an order from U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston preventing Bonds' legal team from showing transcripts of grand jury appearances and interviews with investigators of former San Francisco 49ers Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens and San Francisco Giants General Manager Brian Sabean as well as others. Prosecutors don't divulge details of those statements, but argue they are irrelevant to the trial.
They also want Illston to prohibit Bonds' team from referencing the complicated legal case that arose from the raid of Comprehensive Drug Testing lab in Long Beach in 2004.
Investigators had a search warrant for the drug test results of 10 players, including Bonds, but seized the names of 104 players who tested positive. A federal appeals court ruled that investigators were only entitled to the results listed on their search warrants and chastised them for overreaching during the raid.
Prosecutors allege the Bonds' urine sample seized in that raid tested positive for steroids.
"The jury is likely to be misled into thinking that [Bonds's] sample is tainted by some illegality, when it is not," they argued in asking the judge to prohibit mention of the appellate court ruling.