SAN FRANCISCO — If there is one thing to expect from U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, it’s that she’ll offer up how she plans to rule by the end of a motions hearings, if not from the get-go.

But on Thursday, with a crowd assembled in her courtroom expecting to learn whether she would let stand a conviction against former Giants slugger Barry Bonds, Illston stepped off the bench without tipping her hand.

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