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Barry Bonds avoids jail, gets 2 years' probation, home confinement

Barry Bonds, baseball's home run king, was sentenced Friday to two years' probation with home confinement for giving evasive testimony to a federal grand jury

Barry Bonds, baseball's home run king, was sentenced Friday to two years' probation with home confinement, plus a $4,000 fine, for giving evasive testimony to a federal grand jury eight years ago during an investigation of doping in sports.

Bonds, 47, was charged with several counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying during the grand jury's probe of the Burlingame, Calif.-based Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, which sold banned substances to athletes.

A trial jury last April deadlocked on the perjury charges, returning only one conviction for felony obstruction. Jurors said Bonds obstructed justice by being intentionally evasive in his testimony.

Federal sentencing guidelines recommend 15 to 21 months in prison for obstruction, but probation officials told Judge Susan Illston that Bonds' offense warranted much less: two years' probation, a $4,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and "location monitoring" or home confinement.

Probation officials cited Bonds' history of charitable and civic works -- works that Bonds' attorneys said he kept private even though they would have enhanced his reputation.

Prosecutors countered that the former San Francisco Giants star deserved 15 months in prison for his "pervasive efforts to testify falsely, to mislead the grand jury, to dodge questions, and to simply refuse to answer questions in the grand jury."

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-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Photo: Barry Bonds leaves federal court in San Francisco in April. Credit: Noah Berger / Associated Press

 
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