Thursday, December 14, 2017

Judge denied Sandusky lawyers' request to resign

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky's lawyers said Saturday they asked to resign from his child sex abuse case on the eve of trial but the judge turned them down.

Karl Rominger and Joe Amendola said that as jury selection began they made a sealed motion saying they had not been given enough time to adequately prepare but Judge John Cleland ruled against them after discussion in his chambers.

"We told the trial court, the Superior Court and the Supreme Court we were not prepared to proceed to trial in June due to numerous issues, and we asked to withdraw from the case for those reasons," Amendola said.

Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted Friday on dozens of child sexual abuse charges. His lawyers had said a delay was needed because a key member of the defense team had a scheduling conflict and a lengthy grand jury investigation had inundated them with documents and other materials.

Legal experts say the seven months between Sandusky's arrest and trial on such serious charges is a fast pace by Pennsylvania standards.

Rominger also said Saturday that prosecutors told him on June 14, during the trial's first week, that they obtained a tape of the allegations made by adopted son Matt Sandusky that he also was a victim of abuse by Sandusky. Rominger declined to comment on the details of those allegations but said calling him to the stand might have prompted a mistrial.

He said Matt Sandusky had been expected to be an important witness for the defense, and when such a defense witness becomes a prosecution witness, that can result in a mistrial. The Matt Sandusky evidence and potential testimony was why the prosecution's case was held open during a surprising day off from the trial on June 15 and did not rest until Monday, he said.

Rominger said the lawyers did request a mistrial over the playing in court of a videotaped interview of their client by NBC's Bob Costas because it repeated a brief but significant section while Sandusky was speaking. Rominger said the judge denied the mistrial request, ordered it could not be played again and instead provided jurors with a written transcript.

Jurors in the two-week trial convicted Sandusky of 45 of the 48 counts against him. Mandatory minimums mean Sandusky, 68, likely will die in prison.

One of the jurors on Saturday said the credibility of the accusers who testified they were Sandusky's victims solidified the prosecution's case.

"It's hard to judge character on the stand because you don't know these kids," Joshua Harper told NBC's "Today" show. "But most were very credible — I would say all."

He added: "It was very convincing."

Sandusky's own impassivity as the verdict was read was a confirmation that the jury's decision was the right one, Harper said.

Comments

North shuts out South squad in Pinellas All-Star Football Classic

CLEARWATER — The players had so much fun, officials at Clearwater High School literally had to turn off the lights post-game to get everyone to go home.With more than 60 talented and motivated seniors participating in Wednesday's 23rd annu...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 3:39 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 3:39 a.m. EST
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Alabama win has Democrats broadening their target list

Alabama win has Democrats broadening their target list

Democrats are celebrating an upset Senate victory in Alabama as proof of momentum heading into the 2018 midterm elections
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Alabama Democrats have GOP's Sen. Shelby to thank for win

Alabama Democrats have GOP's Sen. Shelby to thank for win

Lawmakers from both parties are crediting Republican Sen. Richard Shelby for the Democratic upset in Alabama's special Senate election
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Palestinians, a large Jerusalem minority, feel Trump snub

Palestinians, a large Jerusalem minority, feel Trump snub

Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has stirred defiance and new fears of marginalization among the city's large Palestinian minority
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Palestinians, a large Jerusalem minority, feel Trump snub

Palestinians, a large Jerusalem minority, feel Trump snub

Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has stirred defiance and new fears of marginalization among the city's large Palestinian minority
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Alabama loss may offer a warning to Trump White House

Alabama loss may offer a warning to Trump White House

GOP hopes Alabama loss is wakeup call for Trump's political team in White House
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Suicide bomber kills 17 at Somalia police academy

An Islamic extremist suicide bomber disguised as a police officer killed at least 10 people at a police academy in Somalia's capital on Thursday, police said
Updated: 13 minutes ago

Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press

Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press
Updated: 14 minutes ago
As 'net neutrality' vote nears, some brace for a long fight

As 'net neutrality' vote nears, some brace for a long fight

With 'net neutrality' rules set for termination, some advocates are bracing for a long fight
Updated: 14 minutes ago