Friday, December 7, 2007



SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he lied to federal investigators about whether he used performance enhancing drugs.

The home run king's arraignment in U.S. District Court marked his first public appearance since a Nov. 15 indictment charging him with four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.

Bail was set at $500,000. Prosecutors also asked the court to restrict Bonds' travel to the United States.

If he's convicted of all five charges Bonds could spend more than two years in prison.

Wearing a dark blue suit and tie and accompanied by his wife, Bonds stepped from a black sport-utility vehicle and waded through a crush of television cameras, reporters and onlookers outside the Phillip Burton Federal Building. He went through the metal detectors and waved to the crowd before stepping into the courthouse elevator and heading to the 19th-floor for the hearing.

Television satellite trucks lined the streets around the courthouse -- some having staked out a spot more than 20 hours before. San Francisco Giants fans joined reporters and other spectators, who presumably hoped to catch a glimpse of Bonds upon his arrival.

A 43-year-old travel agent from Sacramento was holding a broomstick with a witch costume hanging from it. He carried a sign welcoming the crowd to what he called a George Mitchell "witchhunt," referring to the baseball steroids investigator.

Across from the courthouse, a giant marquee reading "Say it ain't so, Barry," hung from a tire store.

No comments: