BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- As jurors deliberated a second day, Jerry Sandusky's lawyer said Friday he would be shocked and "die of a heart attack" if the former Penn State assistant football coach were acquitted on all counts in his child sex abuse trial.
The candid remarks by Joe Amendola lasted about 15 minutes inside the courtroom and opened a wide window into Mr. Sandusky's state of mind as he and his wife, Dottie, waited for a verdict.
Mr. 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.
Mr. Amendola said the Sanduskys were spending a lot of time praying. He described the atmosphere at their home as like a funeral.
The couple was "crushed" Thursday when lawyers for one of their sons, Matt Sandusky, said the 33-year-old had been prepared to testify on behalf of prosecutors, Mr. Amendola said. Matt Sandusky said his father abused him, his attorneys said.
Mr. Amendola said he wasn't surprised by another man, Travis Weaver, who claimed during an NBC interview Thursday that he was abused by Mr. Sandusky more than 100 times in the early 1990s, or by any others who might come forward.
"Money does a lot of bad things to people," he said.
As for Mr. Sandusky and his family, Mr.Amendola said he has 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 Mr. Sandusky had his wife talk to a criminal defense lawyer a couple months ago "just to be careful."
Mr. Amendola's interview ended when he was summoned into the chambers of Judge John Cleland, who presided over the two-week trial. Judge Cleland has issued a gag order barring lawyers from discussing the case.
First Published June 22, 2012 11:45 PM