The prosecutors in the Barry Bonds case have now officially dropped a handful of charges:
Federal prosecutors dropped four counts of lying to a grand jury against Barry Bonds, leaving him to face trial next year on 10 counts of making false statements plus an additional obstruction of justice charge.
Bonds faces the same potential sentence range—probation to roughly two years in prison—if convicted. His trial is scheduled to begin March 2.
Thursday’s indictment, the third against the home-run king, came in response to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston’s decision last week ordering prosecutors to again rewrite the technically faulty indictment.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there is nothing really game-changing about this from a legal perspective. That said, there are still several questions and answers that form the basis of the perjury charges that I believe to be vague and ambiguous. I’ve seen juries acquit defendants on stronger records and convict them on weaker ones, so I can’t really say with any certainty how this will all play out. If you put a gun to my head I’d say that Barry has a decent shot of getting off, but you know what they say about opinions.
For my hyper-detailed breakdown of the Bonds grand jury testimony at issue in the trial, go here. The charges have changed since I wrote that, but the underlying facts are still the same.