- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The jurors who will decide Barry Bonds‘ fate filed back into the courtroom with their first question Friday, and it was one that had to make prosecutors happy.

“We request the following,” U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said, reading their note aloud. “The full written transcript of the Steve Hoskins-Greg Anderson digital tape recording from 2003.”

In that secretly recorded conversation at the San Francisco Giants ballpark, the slugger’s just-fired business partner and his then-personal trainer discuss steroids, injections and drug testing. Prosecutors used the tape in an attempt to convince jurors that the greatest home-run hitter in major league history had to know he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

That request and another one later, to hear the testimony of Steve Hoskins‘ sister, Kathy, were the two moments the jury reached out from its first day of deliberations. Each question involved some of the prosecution’s best evidence against the home run king.

The panel worked about seven hours, including lunch and breaks, before adjourning until Monday.

Illston refused to give jurors the full transcript of the Hoskins-Anderson tape, because one wasn’t placed in evidence during the trial that began March 21. But she allowed them to rehear the portions of the recording that were first played for them on March 23 and replayed Thursday during the prosecution’s closing.

“Everything that I’ve been doing at this point, it’s all undetectable,” Anderson said on the tape. “See, the stuff that I have … we created it. And you can’t, you can’t buy it anywhere. You can’t get it anywhere else.”

Anderson, who was sent to prison March 22 because he refused to testify in the Bonds case, was released Friday because the trial was over.

Even without taking the witness stand he was a big presence in the courtroom. On the recording, made by Hoskins, Anderson talks of injecting Bonds. Anderson says he doesn’t use one spot, “I move it all over the place” in order to avoid cysts.

Both the prosecution and defense played portions of the recording during the trial, but only the prosecution showed jurors a transcript that allowed them to follow the often-muffled sounds. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow handed out transcripts again Friday while the government portion was played back. When the defense portion was replayed, most of the jurors still were looking down at the prosecution transcript. They were not allowed to take the transcript to the jury room.

While the prosecution also read along, Bonds and his lawyers focused on the jurors, trying to pick up any signals. The 46-year-old former MVP, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and striped tie, seemed more fidgety than he had been during the trial.

Illston told the jury late Friday that Kathy Hoskins‘ testimony will be read back to them when deliberations resume Monday. Hoskins was Bonds‘ personal shopper and claims to have seen Anderson inject him with an unknown substance in the navel in 2002.

Bonds is charged with three counts of making false statements to a grand jury in 2003 for denying he knowingly received steroids and human growth hormone from Anderson, and for saying he only allowed doctors to give him injections. He also faces one count of obstruction of justice over those three statements and four others he made to the grand jury that the prosecutors see as misleading or evasive.

Jurors have been very attentive in this high-profile case, the culmination of a federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) that began in 2002. BALCO turned out to be the center of a steroids distribution ring, and Anderson was among the participants.

Each count against Bonds carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison, but federal guidelines indicate a recommended total sentence of 15 to 21 months. For similar offenses earlier in the BALCO case, Illston punished two people with home confinement.

Story Continues →