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Sandusky seeks new trial
Friday, January 11, 2013
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
BELLEFONTE - Dressed in a red Centre County Prison uniform, Jerry Sandusky returned to the Centre County courthouse for his latest appearance yesterday, six months after being convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse.
With a smirk on his face walking into the courtroom, Sandusky saw his wife, Dottie, and other members of his family sitting in the courtroom. He waved, smiled bigger and tried to make his way to them to talk when a sheriff's deputy took him by the arm and escorted him to a seat at the defense table.
Looking slimmer, Sandusky maintained the smirk throughout the roughly 90-minute hearing.
Sandusky was transported from Greene County to Centre County by Centre County sheriff's deputies Wednesday night. Centre County was responsible for transporting Sandusky because it is the county where he was sentenced.
Norris Gelman, a Philadelphia appeals attorney, joined the Sandusky defense team, and he called attorney Joe Amendola to the stand to testify that he simply did not have enough time to review all of the documents before he had to try to defend his client.
Amendola said he filed approximately 50 discovery requests to the Attorney General's office, including four on May 4.
He said he received more than 12,000 pages of materials, not to mention hundreds of photos and other forms of evidence, from the Attorney General's office and the grand jury in the months leading up to the June trial.
"I didn't have much time to review the materials, because I was preparing for the trial," Amendola said. "I was trying to locate witnesses and I had to copy all of the files, on one copy machine, and it broke down over Memorial Day."
He said he had to cut off his investigation to concentrate on his defense for Sandusky.
Lead prosecutor Joseph E. McGettigan III eventually got Amendola to admit that in the months since Sandusky was convicted, he has been unable to identify any material not previously discovered that would have made a difference in the verdict.
At one point McGettigan asked Amendola a question, upon answering it, Amendola said he could give an example.
"No, don't do it," Senior Judge John Cleland said. "We're going to start being precise now; this has gone on for about 45 minutes now."
Amendola said he glanced at the material since the trial and what did not look like it applied to the case he did not scrutinize.
Gelman spoke of why a second trial should be granted and prosecutor Frank Fina spoke of how Amendola presented a great case and did well with his cross-examinations of the victims.
Cleland said the trial was originally going to begin May 15.
Fina said the issue of "failure to report" by the victims was a major theme during the trial. It was brought up during both parties' opening statements and closing arguments and during cross-examination of the eight victims who testified against Sandusky.
After the hearing Gelman said it went as well as could be expected, "We'll just have to wait and see now," he said.
Amendola said he had a lot to say while he was on the stand, but he couldn't say what he wanted to while testifying.
"We don't have to show prejudice to show due process," he said.
Cleland adjourned the hearing about 11 a.m.
He asked for council to meet him in his chamber, but he never said when he would make a ruling.
Amendola said the judge has 30 days to rule, but as quickly as he's been moving, he expects it will be sooner.
Amendola said Sandusky gets to be out of his cell for one hour a day and he uses that time to work out. He also gets visits twice a month from his family.
"Jerry has been very upbeat throughout the whole process," Amendola said. "He believes in his innocence."
Fina told reporters outside after the hearing, "I think the people of Pennsylvania can be confident this conviction is going to stand."
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