Sandusky lawyer: 'Fight to the death'
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP)
Jerry Sandusky's lawyer says he will not negotiate a plea deal in his client's child sex-abuse case.
Joseph Amendola spoke on the courthouse steps Tuesday after his client waived his preliminary hearing. Amendola says: "There will be no plea negotiations. This is a fight to the death."
He also calls the decision to waive the hearing a "tactical measure."
The decision moves Sandusky toward a trial on child sex-abuse charges. At least some of his 10 accusers had been expected to testify at Tuesday's hearing.
The move was unexpected but not unusual.
At the hearings, prosecutors must show that they have probable cause to bring the case to trial. Prosecutors in this case were expected to meet that relatively low bar, in part because the case been through a grand jury.
The decision moves the case toward a trial next year, with arraignment set for Jan. 11. Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said his client has waived his right to a formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty.
Amendola said he hopes the trial will begin in the summer or fall, and will not seek a change of venue.
Sandusky's court appearance began at 8:30am local time Tuesday and lasted only minutes. Earlier, he arrived at the court flanked by a heavy police guard.
Dressed in a suit and tie, Sandusky showed no emotion as he sat in the courtroom. His wife took a seat alongside several supporters, according to a FOX News reporter.
The 67-year-old is charged with more than 50 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.
The court was expected to hear evidence from prosecutors in an attempt to convince judge Robert E. Scott that the case was strong enough to take to trial. Some of Sandusky's accusers were set to testify Tuesday.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo said the waiver meant Sandusky's accusers would not have to face testifying in court this week.
"The victims in this case, although they were ready, will not have to testify and will not be cross examined today [Tuesday] ... They will of course testify at trial in this case," Costanzo said.
Amendola, said proceeding with the preliminary hearing would not have made sense for the defense. Amendola had previously said he expected the case to go to trial based on the allegations contained in the grand jury presentment.
Speaking outside the courthouse, Amendola noted he would not have been allowed to raise "credibility" issues with witnesses' testimony until trial. He also suggested that some alleged victims are motivated by financial gain.
He said the decision to waive the right to the hearing was made late Monday night and is not an admission of guilt by his client.
Amendola said all the hearing would have done is "reaffirm" information that is already public.
An attorney for one of the victims, Howard Janet, said his client was ready testify.
"It would have been apparent to everybody that this young man, my client, is sincere and honest," said Janet, the attorney for Victim 6.
NewsCore contributed to this report.