Amendola Seeks Delay in Sandusky Case, Wants Mid-July Start for Trial
UPDATED @ 5:50 p.m. Feb. 27: The volume and sensitivity of documents in the Jerry Sandusky criminal case are prolonging the pre-trial discovery process, lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola has argued in court.
In motions dated Friday, Amendola asked presiding Judge John M. Cleland to set for mid-July the anticipated trial in the case.
Cleland had set a target of mid-May.
But state prosecutors are still fulfilling defense requests for pre-trial information, a process prolonged by the sheer number and sensitivity of the material, Amendola wrote.
He believes state prosecutors "are diligently working on these matters and acting in good faith in attempting to provide ... the required information" in compliance with a court order, Amendola wrote.
Meanwhile, he went on, the Sandusky defense team is continuing to work through discovery material already delivered by the prosecution. The defense team will need still more time to address the materials yet to arrive, Amendola wrote.
He asked the court to extend -- from Thursday to March 22 -- his deadline for an omnibus pre-trial motion. Amendola noted that he will be out of Pennsylvania from Friday through March 8. He wants a a "two-week period (upon his return) to review the additional pretrial discovery materials provided to him by the commonwealth and prepare the defendant's omnibus pretrial motion."
Further, Amendola wrote, the defense team will need "a substantial amount of time" to locate and interview potential witnesses identified through the discovery process. It also expects to subpoena a number of agencies and individuals and to seek expert witnesses, Amendola wrote.
In addition, he argued, some anticipated witnesses who are "critical to (Sandusky's) defense" won't be available to testify in May.
State prosecutors have provided no objections to his mid-July continuance request for a trial, Amendola wrote.
Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, is charged with 52 criminal counts in a child-sexual-abuse case. He has maintained that he is innocent.
An earlier news report appears below.
Initial report, posted @ 4:59 p.m. Feb. 27:
Citing the volume of preparation needed before a trial, Jerry Sandusky's lead attorney has sought a continuance.
The attorney, Joseph Amendola, filed a request -- dated Friday -- that the Sandusky case be continued until mid-July.
In it, Amendola also noted that "certain witnesses ... critical to (the) defense ... will be unavailable to testify in May 2012 ... ."
Earlier this month, the judge handling the Sandusky case, John M. Cleland, announced a tentative May 14 target date for a trial.
Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, is charged with 52 criminal counts in the child-sexual-abuse case.
StateCollege.com will post additional coverage shortly. Morning Call reporter Andrew McGill and Daily Collegian reporter Mindy Szkaradnik first tweeted about the continuance request late Monday afternoon.
Earlier reports are available via the link posted below.