Nikolai Bonds pleads not guilty to charges


Nikolai Lamar Bonds, the 18-year-old son of retired San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, pleaded not guilty this morning to five misdemeanor counts in connection with a Dec. 5 argument with his mother, Sun Bonds, at her Menlo Park house.

Mr. Bonds is being charged with one count each of battery, false imprisonment, vandalism, threatening a police officer, and obstructing a police officer, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The charges could result in a jail term of at least two years, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

At the arraignment, which lasted about three minutes, Superior Court Judge Stephanie Garratt put off setting a date for a jury trial until Feb. 3 to give Mr. Bonds' attorney, Josh Bentley, time to examine the police report, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

In the domestic fight that led to the charges, Mr. Bonds allegedly smashed furniture in his bedroom. His mother called a friend, who called 911, and when she tried to leave the house, Mr. Bonds allegedly would not allow it and spit in her face, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

When officers arrived, Mr. Bonds allegedly threatened an officer and his family, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

Mr. Bonds is out of custody on $50,000 bail and under orders not to contact his mother. Barry Bonds accompanied his son to the arraignment, "which was a surprise to everybody," Mr. Wagstaffe said.

The case is assigned to Deputy District Attorney Lisa Coburn, from the DA's domestic violence unit. Ms. Coburn made the decisions on whether the charges would be misdemeanors or felonies, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

Cases like this are typically assigned to attorneys who are fairly new to the job, Mr. Wagstaffe said. There is no special treatment because of his father's celebrity, he added.

A sign of special treatment would be to increase the likelihood of a conviction by assigning the case to an experienced homicide prosecutor, he said.

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