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Roger Clemens might not testify at perjury trial

His attorney tells potential jurors not to hold the the former Cy Young Award winners' silence against him.

July 11, 2011|Staff and wire reports
  • Roger Clemens waves off questions as he arrives at federal court in Washington on Monday.
Roger Clemens waves off questions as he arrives at federal court in Washington… (Alex Brandon / Associated…)

The attorney for Roger Clemens gave his strongest hint yet that the former baseball star might not testify in his trial on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs as he pressed potential jurors not to hold Clemens' silence against him.

Several members of the jury pool under selection in Washington federal court said they would weigh evidence from both sides before deciding on a verdict. The judge and Clemens' attorney had to repeatedly explain the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty and that prosecutors alone bear the burden of proving his guilt.

It's a common issue in criminal cases, but the comments from Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin show the defense team is at least considering not putting the ex-pitcher on the stand.

Clemens watched without speaking during three days of intense questioning of 50 potential jurors that qualified 35 people for potential service. Fifteen were turned away for reasons including medical issues, an inability to commit to a trial expected to last into August and biases against either Clemens or Congress for investigating drugs in baseball.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton plans to have prosecutors and defense attorneys exercise their peremptory, or unexplained, challenges Tuesday afternoon to narrow those qualified to a panel of 12 jurors and up to four alternates and then have opening arguments Wednesday.

ETC.

Police: Ward failed field tests

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward had glassy, bloodshot eyes and failed field sobriety tests during a traffic stop near Atlanta that landed him a drunk driving charge, according to a police report released Monday.

A transit police officer pulled Ward over just before 2:30 a.m. Saturday after he left his lane and at one point hit a curb in his gray Aston Martin, the report says. The transit police officer called a DeKalb County police officer, who wrote in the report that the Super Bowl most valuable player and reigning "Dancing With the Stars" champion smelled strongly of alcohol.

Ward told the officer he had had two bottles of beer three hours earlier at an establishment in the city's Buckhead neighborhood.

The Ducks re-signed restricted free-agent right wing Dan Sexton to a two-year contract. The first year is a two-way deal paying $550,000 in the NHL or $105,000 in the American Hockey League, but the second year is one way at $550,000. Sexton had four goals and 13 points in 47 games with the Ducks last season.

Helene Elliott

Sergio Aguero scored twice as Argentina defeated Costa Rica, 3-0, at Cordoba, Argentina, to advance to the Copa America quarterfinals after two disappointing matches to open the continental championship.

Onetime Pro Bowl outside linebacker Mike Vrabel officially retired from the Kansas City Chiefs and also announced he was returning to Ohio State as a linebackers coach. He'll take the spot vacated by his former Buckeyes roommate and teammate, Luke Fickell, who was elevated to head coach after Jim Tressel was forced to resign on May 30.

Kentucky Speedway offered a ticket exchange to fans who were stuck in traffic and missed the track's inaugural Sprint Cup Series race.

Speedway Motorsports Inc. President Marcus Smith said fans can swap their unused Kentucky tickets for entry into events at any 2011 race at an SMI track. The tickets can also be swapped for entry into the 2012 race at Kentucky.

Fans were stuck in traffic for hours as they tried to get into Saturday night's race at the track in Sparta, Ky. Many fans said once they did get to the gate, they were turned away by police because the track had no more parking spaces.

Jaroslav Jirik, the first Czech allowed to play in the NHL during the country's communist era, died Monday in a plane crash. He was 71.

Jirik died in the city of Brno, about 125 miles from Prague. His ultralight one-seater crashed shortly after takeoff from the Brno Medlanky airport.

Jirik was cleared to play in the NHL by Czech authorities. He was a right wing who played only three games for the St. Louis Blues in the 1969-70 season.

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