Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jury Convicts Graham on 1 Count

Federal prosecutors went 1 for 3 in their efforts to convict Trevor Graham for lying to federal agents. This is the second conviction that went to trial relating to the BALCO investigation. Next up: Barry Bonds.

The jury convicted Graham for lying to federal agents regarding having only one phone conversation with Angel Guillermo Heredia, a key witness for the prosecution. They were deadlocked for the other two charges lying about setting up athletes with drugs and about meeting Heredia.

The jury was concerned with Heredia's credibility. The jury foreman, Frank Stapleton, 59, was one of the holdouts on the two counts. Stapleton, speaking for himself said, "The government was bound and determined to make an example of the defendant. To achieve their goal, they felt it necessary to do a deal with a true devil, an untruthful drug dealer and illegal immigrant who is walking the streets of America, free and presumably still plying his trade with impunity. I hope this verdict satisfies the Justice Department’s lust for blood in this matter and that there will be no retrial.”

TG, you dodged a major bullet having a true American such as Mr. Stapleton on the jury. The jury somehow ignored the photo of you and Heredia together and Heredia's testimony being corroborated by other athletes. As for Stapleton, save the drama and your political commentary for the coffee shop or the next cocktail party. It would have been interesting to be in the jury room and see how Stapleton argued that TG never met Heredia despite photographic evidence stating otherwise. Now that would be a story for a cocktail party.

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