SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Bonds stepped outside the Phillip Burton Federal Building for the first time as a convicted felon, and a school bus went by. The home-run king flashed a victory sign with two fingers.
After a 12-day trial and four days of deliberation, a jury had deadlocked on three charges he lied under oath. But Bonds was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice.
"Are you celebrating tonight?" one fan asked.
"There's nothing to celebrate," Bonds replied.
A mixed and muddled verdict Wednesday left both prosecutors and the defense feeling sorry-grateful.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on the three charges that Bonds made false statements when he told a grand jury in December 2003 he never knowingly received steroids and human growth hormone from trainer Greg Anderson and he allowed only doctors to inject him.
But a trial that had all to do with performance-enhancing drugs ended with a conviction that had nothing to do with them. The count the jury agreed on stated Bonds gave an evasive answer under oath. Rather than say "yes" or "no" to whether he received drugs that required a syringe, Bonds gave a rambling response to a grand jury, stating: "I became a celebrity child with a famous father."
Though unsatisfied, both sides expressed a fraction of fulfillment following a trial that uncovered the dark practices of baseball's Steroids Era.