Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer said Friday that he would be shocked and ”die of a heart attack” if the ex-Penn State assistant football coach were acquitted on all counts.
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The candid remarks by Joe Amendola lasted about 15 minutes inside the courtroom where Sandusky’s trial began on June 11, but opened a wide window into the Sandusky’s world as they waited for a verdict.
Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Jurors have deliberated more than 17 hours since getting the case on Thursday and were still talking Friday evening.
Amendola said Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, were spending a lot of time praying. He described the atmosphere at their home as like a funeral.
The couple was ”crushed” by a statement Thursday from lawyers for one of their sons, Matt Sandusky, that said the 33-year-old had been prepared to testify on behalf of prosecutors, Amendola said. Matt Sandusky said his father abused him, the attorneys said.
Amendola said he wasn’t surprised about Travis Weaver, a 30-year-old who claimed during an NBC interview broadcast Thursday that he was abused in the early 1990s more than 100 times, along with the possibility that others could also come forward.
”Money does a lot of bad things to people,” he said.
As for Sandusky and his family, Amendola said he’s given them an objective appraisal of what they could expect.
”I’ve used the best example I could use: climbing Mount Everest from the bottom of the mountain,” he said. ”It’s a daunting, daunting case.”
He also said that Sandusky had his wife, Dottie, talk to a criminal defense lawyer a couple months ago ”just to be careful.”
Amendola’s 15-minute interview ended with him being summoned into the chambers of Judge John Cleland, who presided over the two-week trial. Cleland has issued a gag order barring lawyers from discussing the case.