Barry Bonds seeks probation for criminal conviction

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 06, 2011 9:13 PM
Barry Bonds seeks probation for criminal conviction

(Reuters) - Baseball home run king Barry Bonds should receive no jail time for his conviction on a single criminal count related to an investigation of steroids in sports, his attorneys argued in a court filing on Tuesday.

A Northern California jury convicted Bonds in April on one count of obstruction of justice, but deadlocked on three other counts of lying to a grand jury.

The steroids scandal has tarnished some of the biggest stars in baseball.

Bonds is scheduled to be sentenced in a San Francisco federal court on December 16. In a sentencing memorandum submitted on Tuesday, his attorneys said Bonds deserved probation.

Among the reasons for no prison, Bonds' lawyers cited a long history of good works, done away from the public eye.

"He has deliberately not chosen to use the many years he has devoted to causes that he values to enhance his public stature as an athlete and celebrity," attorney Allen Ruby wrote.

U.S. prosecutors have not yet submitted their sentencing recommendation for Bonds.

The Bonds prosecution stemmed from his testimony to a 2003 grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, or BALCO.

Testifying to the grand jury, Bonds admitted getting flaxseed oil, vitamins, protein shakes and creams from his trainer, but he said he had no knowledge of human growth hormones or steroids. He said no one ever injected him other than medical doctors.

Bonds was the National League's most valuable player seven times and finished his career in 2007 with 762 home runs, a Major League baseball record. Bonds, who spent much of his career with the San Francisco Giants, also set the single-season home run record with 73 in 2001.

He was indicted three months after breaking Hank Aaron's career homer record in 2007.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is United States of America v. Barry Lamar Bonds, 07-cr-0732.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Philip Barbara)