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Barry Bonds seeks acquittal, new trial

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds’ attorneys filed a motion Wednesday asking a judge to change Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction to an acquittal or schedule a new trial.

Bonds was convicted of obstructing a grand jury’s steroids investigation by giving an evasive answer during questioning in 2003. The trial ended in April with a mistrial on three perjury counts along with the conviction on the single obstruction count.

Bonds’ lawyers argue he was unfairly convicted of “unauthorized rambling” in discussing being a celebrity child when asked whether his trainer ever injected him with a syringe. The lawyers insist that Bonds answered the question directly during further questioning.

“Unauthorized rambling is not a federal crime,” Bonds’ lawyers write in their brief. They ask U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to schedule a hearing for July 1 on their request.

Illston has already scheduled a hearing for June 24 to set a sentencing date for the conviction and she may combine the two dates into one court session.

Bonds is not expected to receive a prison sentence, based on similar convictions and sentencing of two other figures charged with lying about steroids.

Federal prosecutors are also expected to tell the judge whether they intend to retry Bonds on the three perjury charges. The jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt on the charge that Bonds lied when he said no one but his doctor ever injected him with anything. A majority of jurors voted to acquit Bonds on charges he lied when he denied knowingly using steroids and human growth hormone.