Lee Davis: The Roger Clemens Case: Update on Andy Pettitte’s Damaging Testimony

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - by Lee Davis
Lee Davis
Lee Davis

As discussed in a post last week, prosecutors have gone ahead and asked a judge to allow the jury to consider testimony from Andy Pettitte regarding Roger Clemens’ use of human growth hormone (HGH).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham argued that Pettitte’s somewhat inconsistent statements during cross-examination by the defense last week should not serve to disqualify all his testimony. The prosecution’s recent filing before the federal court says that, “This jury must be permitted — if it desires — to fully credit Mr. Pettitte’s direct-examination testimony and discount any cross-examination inconsistencies.”

The defense had previously asked U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton to throw out the testimony of Pettitte. The defense argues the inconsistencies brought to light during cross show that Pettitte’s earlier statements are “not definitive enough to qualify to be an admissible statement.”

The most problematic remarks occurred under cross-examination on May 2, when Pettitte changed his testimony, telling the defense that he may have misunderstood a conversation with Clemens regarding his HGH use. Pettitte further undercut his earlier testimony by putting the odds at 50% that he had not properly heard the conversation with Clemens. The defense seized on the remarks saying that, “The court should not allow the jury to consider an alleged ‘admission’ that has all the weight of a coin flip.”

The request to have the testimony stricken is unusual and is rarely granted by a trial court.  The fact that it is under consideration is a statement as to its weakness.  The offered testimony by Pettitte must be relevant and have some reliability to be admissible.  Arguably a statement that Pettite now says he may be 50% mistaken about may mislead or confuse the jurors.

As previously described discussed herehere, and here, Clemens has been charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury. If he is convicted of all charges he faces a maximum of 21 months in prison.

Read: “Clemens Prosecutors Ask Judge to Keep Pettitte Testimony,” by Tom Schoenberg, published at Businessweek.com.

(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at lee@davis-hoss.com or at 266-0605.)


Miguel Sano, 2015 ex-Lookout Third Baseman, Named AL Rookie Of The Month

Former Lookouts' third baseman and Minnesota Twins third baseman/designated hitter Miguel Sano has been named the American League Rookie of the Month after leading all AL rookies in runs, home runs, RBIs and walks in August. Sano played for the Chattanooga Lookouts until his promotion to the Twins in early July. While in Chattanooga much of the focus was on Byron Buxton who joined ... (click for more)

Hunter Hageman Named As Roadrunner Basketball Assistant

Tony Ingle, head basketball coach at defending NAIA National Champions Dalton State, announced Thursday that he has hired Hunter Hageman, 24, as an assistant. “He will be a great addition to our program,” said Ingle. Hageman comes to the Roadrunners from the National Association of Basketball Coaches office in Kansas City, MO. He is a 2014 graduate of the University of Kansas ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center May Get Bankruptcy Trustee Who Would Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

Hutcheson Medical Center may be headed for appointment of a bankruptcy trustee, who would focus on the sale of the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital. An attorney told a bankruptcy court judge in Rome, Ga., on Wednesday afternoon that a buyer is discussing paying over $20 million for all the assets of the community hospital. Attorney Rob Williamson ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Unsecured Creditors Committee Asks Trustee Be Appointed For Fort Oglethorpe Hospital; Asks Bankruptcy Not Be Dismissed

The Unsecured Creditors Committee of Hutcheson Medical Center is opposing a motion by U.S. Trustee Guy Gebhardt for a bankruptcy judge to dismiss the bankruptcy for the financially-ailing Fort Oglethorpe hospital.   Instead, the group is asking Judge Paul Bonapfel to appoint a trustee to oversee the Hutcheson finances. In a 16-page motion, the committee said if the bankruptcy ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Five Straight Days Of Football

If I covered my first high school football game as a fledging sports when I was 16 years old, and I am now 66, I figure that’s darn near about a half-century of passes and punts. The mystifying part is that I still get as big of a kick hovering around the game as I did on my very first time so as we usher in the start of the college season with five straight days of games, here ... (click for more)