A verdict has been reached in the Barry Bonds perjury trial …ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada says the jury will be in the courtroom about 4:50 ET time to render their decision.
Keep refreshing this page for more updates as we get them:
4:47 UPDATE: Now reports say that a court PR person has changed her mind, and a verdict has not actually been reached in the Barry Bonds trail.
4:54: George Dohrmann, who has covered the trial for Sports Illustrated, says that judge is now telling the courtroom that “jury has reached agreement on some but not all ?s put to them.”
4:56: Judge and lawyers are now arguing about how to proceed.
5:03: It now appears that the jury reached a verdict one of the four counts, Bonds is facing, and decided to tell the court, who assumed they had reached a verdict on all of them. The jury is still sequestered, so the lawyers and the judge are trying to determine the exact situation.
5:05: The lawyers are co-writing a note to send to the jury. We could be here a while.
5:08: Forget the notes. Judge calling jury into court room.
5:09: Reminder: Bonds faces 3 counts of making false statements to a grand jury; 1 count of obstruction of justice.
5:10: Jury says they have reached a verdict on one count and more deliberation would not be useful. The judge sends them back out.
5:12: Bonds lawyers ask for a mistrial on the undecided counts.
5:13: Everyone agrees to “throw in the towel” on the rest.
5:15: Judge calls a 5-minute recess. Then jury will come back, give verdict one count, then their job is done.
5:20: ARE YOU NERVOUS? We are.
5:27: Judge and jury still not back in the courtroom. No reason given for the delay.
5:32: Bonds is GUILTY of obstruction of justice. Jury divided on the three counts of perjury.
5:34: There will be a mistrial on the perjury charges, and one would assume the government won’t pursue them further.
5:37: The jury has been released from service.
5:39: The next hearing has been scheduled for May 20. Not a sentencing date.
5:40: So what happens now? Well, there will be appeals and motions from the defence, who have already asked for the Judge Ilston to set aside the verdict.
ESPN’s Lester Munson says the verdict is based on the fact that Bonds was evasive, “rambling” and arrogant in his grand jury testimony, but the government was not able to prove lies that rose to the level of perjury.
However, Judge Ilston has been dismissive of the BALCO prosecution. Two other athletes were convicted on similar charges as result of the same grand jury and were only given probation and home confinement, and it’s expected that Bonds would get the same.