Sandusky lawyer: not enough time to prepare for trial
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WHTM) -
Thursday morning, Jerry Sandusky was walked back into Centre County Court by Sheriff's Deputies.
Inside the very courtroom where he was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, Sandusky and his lawyers attended an appeals hearing, in hopes of getting a second trial.
The former Penn State football coach looked thinner, and hunched over. He was quiet for most of the proceeding, muttering only a few words to his council.
During the hearing, Jerry Sandusky's lawyer testified that he did not have enough time to prepare for the June trial, stating that he was given 12,000 pages of material to review between December 2011 and May 2012.
Defense Attorney Joe Amendola, who took the stand as a witness, later told prosecutors on cross-examination that he has since reviewed the material but nothing in it would have changed his defense strategy. Amendola argued that Sandusky should be granted a new trial.
If it would have made no difference then, "What's the prejudice? What's the harm?," Judge John Cleland asked defense attorneys, following the testimony.
Amendola and prosecutor Joe McGettigan agreed that only about 1,000 pages of the evidence Amendola received was central to the case.
"We felt we didn't have nearly sufficient time to go through the material," Amendola said.
He also said he was not given the victim's personal information until February, which made it difficult for defense investigators to prove that the victims collaborated their stories.
Norris Gelman, who joined Sandusky's defense team to help with the appeals process, also took fault with Cleland's instructions to the jury. Cleland left out a portion of standard jury instructions that said the failure to make a prompt report of a crime could be weighed when determining a witnesses credibility.
Cleland defended his decision to leave out that part of jury instructions saying the jury would have needed to hear expert psychiatric testimony to properly understand delayed reporting. During the Sandusky trial, expert witnesses were not allowed in sexual abuse trials. That law has since changed.
Cleland added that defendants are not entitled to any particular jury instructions and he was within his rights to leave that part out.
Gelman also said that during the trial McGettigna tried to imply to the jury that Sandusky was at fault for not testifying.
Following the hearing, prosecutors addressed the media, saying they remain confident in the outcome of the trial.
Frank Fina, Chief Deputy Attorney General said, "I think the people of Pennsylvania should be confident that this conviction is going to stand."
Sandusky, is currently serving a 30-60 year sentence in western Pennsylvania state prison for sexually abusing 10 young boys. He maintains his innocence.
Sandusky and his wife Dottie Sandusky are longtime Centre County residents. Dottie Sandusky was in court today along with 12 others who came to support Jerry Sandusky.
Dottie remained stoic through the court proceedings but after court adjourned her eyes were red and full of tears. She looked over to Jerry Sandusky who, for the first time, had turned around to look at her.
She smiled and he smiled back. Dottie Sandusky blew a kiss and waved. So did he.
Jerry Sandusky thanked supporters for coming and sat with legs crossed and whole body turned to look at Dottie Sandusky.
"They're gonna ask if you can see me downstairs," he said before being escorted out of the room. "See you," he said -- and blew another kiss.