Attorney Joe Amendola maintains that Sandusky’s defense was underprepared

By Alex Steinman

Attorney Joe Amendola maintains that Sandusky’s defense was underprepared

State College Defense Attorney Joe Amendola testified Thursday — during a hearing in which Jerry Sandusky was asking for a new trial — that there was nothing he would have done differently in defending the former coach, even though he said the defense team was “overwhelmed” by the amount of material given to them before trial.

Sandusky, clothed in a red prison suit, entered the courthouse smiling Thursday afternoon — his wife Dottie and other supporters also attended.

Amendola said during his 45 minutes of testimony at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte that the defense was given more than 12,000 pages of material from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, beginning in January 2012 and ending in June 2012.

Amendola said even though there was material he was unable to review before the June trial, the circumstances would not have affected the way he defended the former Penn State defensive coordinator.

Senior Judge John Cleland did not rule on any of the motions for a new trial at Thursday’s hearing.

Sandusky’s defense team was also given flash drives that held thousands of photos and several disks with information that was seized from Sandusky’s computers, Amendola said.

Amendola said that he didn’t have enough time to review much of the material and said that he “glanced over” most of it. Amendola also said that he didn’t have enough time to analyze the material before the trial date.

Norris Gelman, another of Sandusky’s attorneys, said after the hearing that a “structural error” occurred when the court did not allow Sandusky’s defense team ample time to prepare for trial.

“When a vast amount of material comes in at the eleventh hour, your ability to prepare suffers, and we say it suffers greatly,” Gelman said during the hearing.

Amendola also said that because he was not able to read all of the material, he couldn’t adequately represent Sandusky. He filed a petition before the trial began to be released from representing the former coach, Amendola said.

He said that he filed the petition out of frustration because he didn’t have enough time to be thorough in reading the documents.

Amendola said during his testimony that even now — six months after the trial took place — he has not read all of the material given to the defense before the trial.

Gelman also argued during the hearing that the jury charge was insufficient in that Cleland didn’t make it known to the jury that there was an extended period of time between when each of the people Sandusky was convicted of abusing came forward with their abuse claims.

Gelman argued that the omitted statement could potentially have brought some reasonable doubt into the minds of the jurors.

Prosecutor Joe McGettigan, representing the Office of the Attorney General, said after the hearing that Sandusky’s defense team was given more than enough time to prepare for the defense adequately, and that the defense was “overcome by true victims’ testimony.”

Prosecutor Frank Fina also said after the hearing that a ruling by Cleland should come within 30 days.

“The people of Pennsylvania should be confident that [Sandusky’s] conviction will stand,” Fina said.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexually abusing boys he met through his charity, The Second Mile. He is currently serving a 30 to 60 year prison sentence.

On Thursday, Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania’s attorney general-elect, also announced she will appoint a deputy attorney general to conduct a probe into the Sandusky investigation conducted by the state.

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