Jury deliberations resume in Clemens trial

Jury deliberations resume in Clemens trial

Jury deliberations resume in Clemens trial
WASHINGTON -- As jurors returned to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday morning to resume deliberations, the federal perjury trial of Roger Clemens entered its 10th week since jury selection began April 16.

For all the reasons it has taken that long -- from schedule conflicts to courtroom conflicts, including many that sent the jury out of the room while attorneys argued them out -- it's certainly not attributable to the jury of eight women and four men who returned for a 34th day of proceedings since they first arrived. Back then, they were unaware of what would lie ahead for them and under the impression it would take up 4-6 weeks of their lives, not nine going on 10.

By the time they arrived Monday, the jurors had spent only about three hours and 45 minutes deliberating since Judge Reggie Walton put the case in their hands late last Tuesday -- a mere 15 minutes that day and an abbreviated day that went from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday before court went into recess for the remainder of the week. Walton had an out-of-town commitment Thursday and Friday that he later said he'd be willing to cancel, but by then jurors had made plans for the weekend.

Whether deliberations end Monday or take all week -- another week that includes schedule conflicts toward the end -- the jurors have been subjected to hundreds of hours of testimony, have all the evidence at their disposal and a comprehensive list of exhibits to refresh their memories of all they saw and heard over two months in Courtroom 12 on the sixth floor of the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, located a short walk from the U.S. Capitol.

Clemens' fate rests in the hands of those 12 jurors four years and four months after he raised his right hand and twice took an oath at the Rayburn House Office Building, adjacent to the Capitol.

Clemens, who won 354 games and a record seven Cy Young Awards in a 24-year Major League career, is charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress for telling the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in February 2008 that he never used steroids or human-growth hormone, and also for making other statements in the deposition that the government says were misleading to the investigation. In order to come back with a conviction on the obstruction charge, the jury must find Clemens guilty of only one of the 13 obstructive acts alleged against him.

Brian McNamee, a strength and conditioning trainer who worked with Clemens for the better part of a decade, testified before the same congressional committee and at this trial that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs numerous times from 1998-2001, saving evidence in a Miller Lite beer can and a FedEx box after injecting Clemens in August 2001. Clemens testified that McNamee only injected him with vitamin B12 and lidocaine.

While jurors were out on their long weekend, a key witness in the trial returned to Washington in a much different arena. With the Yankees visiting Nationals Ballpark for a three-game series, Andy Pettitte pitched the middle game Saturday.

Pettitte testified May 1-2 in the courtroom located about a mile north of the ballpark, where he pitched seven strong innings but didn't get a decision in a 14-inning Yankees victory over the hometown Nationals. In his appearance at the Clemens trial, which came 11 days before he made his season debut after being retired for all of last season, Pettitte conceded under cross-examination that he was 50-50 about whether he'd heard Clemens correctly in saying that he used HGH to help with recovery, or whether he'd misunderstood him.

Asked after Saturday's game if he'd followed the trial since his appearance on the stand and whether he's ready to talk about it now, Pettitte responded, "That's not anything I really care to talk about, all right?"

Gene Monahan, a former Yankees trainer now in a consultant role with the club, also testified in the trial and was back in Washington for the series, filling in for his successor, Steve Donohue. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman also testified at the trial.

How much of an impact Pettitte's capitulation on the stand of his earlier comments about the Clemens conversation will have on the outcome of the trial remains to be seen. That's in the minds and pending actions of the jurors.

How long they debate that, as well as McNamee's week-long appearance on the stand and the ensuing contradicting testimony from his estranged wife, Eileen, and Clemens' wife, Debbie, is completely up for speculation. For reference, the jury deciding the Barry Bonds federal case took three days and four hours to announce its verdicts in April 2011 after listening to 11 days of testimony, eventually convicting Bonds on one count of obstruction of justice; the jury deciding the O.J. Simpson double-murder case took just four hours to announce not-guilty verdicts in October 1995 after listening to more than eight months of testimony.

The jurors in the Clemens trial are not sequestered, although they have been transported to and from the courthouse by U.S. Marshals, meeting in an undisclosed location. They were continually instructed by Walton to avoid any media reports about the trial, but he did not strictly forbid it, essentially asking them to use their common sense and turn the channel or hit the mute button if something emerged they shouldn't hear about. Newspapers and magazines are forbidden other than redacted copies made available at the courthouse.

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.