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Sandusky Trial: Jury Selection Complete, Opening Arguments Start Monday

by on June 06, 2012 10:44 AM

Updated at 3:38 p.m.

BELLEFONTE, Pa.  Jury selection in Jerry Sandusky's trial wrapped up Wednesday around 3 p.m., two days ahead of schedule. 

The 12 seated jurors and four alternates were chosen and comprise an all-white jury. Several of the jurors have close ties to Penn State.

The makeup of the jury is 10 women and six men. In the seated jury, seven are women and five are men. 

They now hold the fate of the former Penn State football assistant coach in their hands. Sandusky faces 52 counts in a child sexual abuse case. He maintains his innocence. 

Opening arguments start Monday at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 1 of the Centre County Courthouse. 

Updated at 1:08 p.m.

BELLEFONTE, Pa.  Just after noon Wednesday, 12 jurors were seated and one alternate juror was selected in the Jerry Sandusky trial. 

Only three more alternates are needed to round out the jury that will decide Jerry Sandusky's fate over the next three weeks. 

Before regular court proceedings resumed, Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola asked Judge John Cleland to further delay the trial, something Amendola has repeatedly requested. The defense petitioned the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a continuance last week. 

Judge Cleland denied the request.

Amendola said the delay was warranted because he felt the gag order imposed by Judge Cleland was violated when ABC News reported hand-written love letters from Sandusky to alleged Victim 4 will be read in court and presented as evidence. 

Physical evidence has been lacking in the child sexual abuse case so far.

Pool reporters inside the courtroom said at one point Sandusky turned his attention to them. 

"What did you guys do to deserve me? How did you guys get stuck with this?" 

The pool reporters did not say if they responded.

Since he entered the Centre County Courthouse Tuesday, the mood of the former Penn State football assistant coach has wavered between somber and jovial, shifting with the overall mood of the court and any reference to his charges.

Sandusky, 68, looks tired at times and slouches in his seat.

Earlier, at 10:44 a.m.

BELLEFONTE, Pa.  On Day 2 Wednesday, Judge John Cleland said the Jerry Sandusky trial will end on June 30 and excused 12 prospective jurors, narrowing a pool that needs to find only seven more unbiased individuals.

The defense, which includes Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola and co-counsel Karl Rominger, presented the court with a list of prospective witnesses they may call during oral arguments. Wednesday's list included seven members of the Sandusky family, all sharing the surname. 

Dottie, Sandusky's wife, and at least two of his sons are expected to testify.

On Tuesday, the defense's witness list included Sue and Jay Paterno, former Penn State President Graham Spanier and Pulitzer Prize-winner Sara Ganim, who originally broke the news of the grand jury report investigating Jerry Sandusky.

Individuals were excused for reasons including financial restraints, such as being the sole supporter of a household, or those who had planned and already paid for vacations.

One prospective juror was excused for personally knowing Sandusky. No identifying information regarding the juror or details of how the individual was acquainted with Sandusky was revealed.

Prospective jurors not excused moved on to Phase 3, the individual questioning period.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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