I’m sure Roger Clemens loves it when people call him Big Poppa, but I always figured The Rocket to be more of a Brooks & Dunn guy.
However on Tuesday, Clemens evoked Biggie Smalls in federal court in an effort to save himself some chedda/scrilla/dough. The seven-time Cy Young winner asked a federal judge to order the U.S. to pay his attorneys’ fees for his perjury trial, which was aborted because of prosecutor error.
He cited a ruling in the 2005 mistrial surrounding the circumstances of Biggie’s 1997 death.
In 2005, Biggie’s relatives filed a wrongful death claim against the Los Angeles Police Department based on evidence provided by retired detective Russell Poole. They claimed the LAPD had sufficient evidence to make an arrest but failed to do so. Several days into the trial, the plaintiff’s attorney disclosed to the Court and opposing counsel that he had received a telephone call from someone claiming to be a LAPD officer and provided detailed information about the existence of previously undisclosed evidence.
As a result of the new evidence, which implicated involvement of Death Row Records and former LAPD officers, the judge declared a mistrial and awarded Biggie’s family its attorneys’ fees.
The judge in Clemens’ case, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, invited a similar motion by stating during a hearing last month that it would be unfair for Clemens to pay a second time to defend himself in a retrial scheduled for April.
Walton declared a mistrial in July after finding that prosecutors violated a court order when they showed the jury a video clip of a 2008 congressional hearing where Andy Pettitte’s wife was discussed. The judge had ruled earlier that no references to Laura Pettitte, or an affidavit she gave Congress, could be made during the government’s case.
Clemens is asking the government pay “reasonable fees and expenses” incurred from June 25 to July 14. He wouldn’t say how much those costs are.
But if Clemens is keeping with the Biggie motif, I’m sure he and attorney Rusty Hardin may write off a few late night “strategy sessions” at Archibald’s.
Unfortunately for Biggie, a Yankees fan in his day, he never got a chance to see The Rocket wear the pinstripes (Clemens joined the Evil Empire in 1999). A new trial is scheduled to begin April 17. If convicted on all charges, Clemens faces as long as 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
Mo money, mo problems.