(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) — Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer bluntly said Friday that he would be so shocked if his client is acquitted of sex abuse charges “I will probably die of a heart attack.”
Joe Amendola compared his chances of acquittal to the nerdy character in the movie “Dumb and Dumber” when the beautiful woman told him he had a one in a million chance of getting the girl, and the character rejoiced, “I have a chance.”
Amendola made his comments while the jury of seven women and five men were in their second day of deliberating the 48 charges of child sex abuse against the former Penn State football coach. If convicted of the most serious charges Sandusky, 68, could be sentenced to life in prison.
The lawyer commented on why Sandusky smiled frequently during the trial despite testimony from eight alleged victims who claimed he molested them or raped them.
“That is just Jerry. He is like a big kid,” Amendola said.
Amendola’s conversation with reporters was interrupted when he was called into the judge’s chambers by a bailiff. The judge has imposed gag orders on the lawyers, although it was not clear why Amendola was summoned.
The jury stopped deliberations briefly today to ask a question about a witness’ account of alleged molestation, the second time they have sought more information on the charges.
The jurors have now asked for additional guidance on the two victims in the case who were never identified by authorities and consequently did not testify. The other eight alleged victims testified.
This afternoon, jurors asked Judge John Cleland to reread his instructions to them about how to evaluate the evidence submitted for alleged Victim 8, a boy who was never found by the attorney general’s office during their investigation, but who was allegedly seen being abused by Sandusky in a Penn State locker room shower.
Former janitor Ronald Petrosky recounted the night in 2000 when an elderly colleague, James Calhoun, said he saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a young boy in the shower. Calhoun now has dementia and could not testify, so Petrosky’s account of what Calhoun said was submitted as the only evidence for the alleged crime.
On Thursday, the jury stopped deliberations at 8:30 p.m., after seven hours of discussions, and asked to see the testimony of Mike McQueary and his family friend, John Dranov. McQueary was an eyewitness to an alleged sexual assault of a boy by Sandusky in the locker room showers in 2001, but the state has not located that alleged victim either.
McQueary spoke to his father and Dranov after the incident, relaying what he saw to them. The jury watched this morning as prosecutors reenacted McQueary’s testimony and defense attorneys reenacted Dranov’s testimony.
The charges from Victim 2 and Victim 8 are the only ones for which there are no victims. The jury has not had any questions so far on the charges from alleged victims who testified in court and gave their own accounts of sexual abuse.
After the judge reread his instructions this afternoon on how the jury should consider Petrosky’s statements about Victim 8 when considering their verdict, the jury was sent back into deliberations.
After the reenactment, the judge told the jury that would not get to review any other evidence.
“I understand why this particular exchange might be important to your deliberations, but as a practical matter, we can’t go back and redo the trial, so with regard to other witnesses, unless it is extremely important I’m going to instruct you to rely on your memories,” Cleland said.
Jurors must make their way through all of the 48 counts from the 10 separate alleged victims before returning a verdict, and have been encouraged by Cleland to work long days in order to do so quickly. They are sequestered for deliberations.
The jury began their deliberations Thursday and was sequestered during the night, leaving them unaware of the drama that erupted after they started their work.
Sandusky’s adopted son Matt — who had defended the man who adopted him throughout the investigation — issued a statement Thursday saying that he had been prepared to tell the jury that he had been sexually abused, too. Matt Sandusky is one of six children Jerry Sandusky and his wife adopted.
Sources close to the case said that Matt Sandusky contacted prosecutors late last week to say that he was willing to testify. Prosecutors couldn’t call him to the stand for direct questioning because he was not included in the charges against his father.
But they could have called Matt Sandusky to the stand as a rebuttal witness if Jerry Sandusky took the stand, sources said.
Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky said they were considering allowing him to testify up until the last day of testimony Wednesday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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