By The Associated Press
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — One day after a jury found their defense of Jerry Sandusky unsuccessful, attorney Karl Rominger revealed he and Joe Amendola asked to be removed from the case before jury selection.
Rominger said Saturday on his Harrisburg, Pa., radio show that he and Amendola felt they were not adequately prepared to defend their client.
He said Senior Judge John Cleland denied the request, which the attorneys made the morning of jury selection. “That was the one time I’ve gone into a courtroom, looked a judge in the eyes and said ‘I’m not ready,’ ” Rominger said.
Amendola had repeatedly asked for continuances as the trial approached. Cleland repeatedly denied those requests.
Inside the main courtroom Friday evening, just hours before the verdict was handed down, Amendola seemed resigned to his client’s fate.
“I’ll probably die of a heart attack,” if Sandusky is acquitted of everything, he told a group of reporters.
Amendola said he has been working 18-hour days, seven days a week. He previously said the defense needed more time to go through thousands of pages of discovery materials from the prosecution.
“I did the best I could with the circumstances,” he said.
Rominger said on his radio show he and Amendola felt rushed in preparing their case, and didn’t feel they could provide Sandusky a proper defense. “We felt ethically unable to go forward,” he said. “We can’t be competent because we’re not prepared.”
Rominger went on to say that continuances are routinely granted in trials, especially cases with so much evidence. “We couldn’t get one continuance for Jerry Sandusky,” he said. “As a result, we (Rominger and Amendola) asked to resign from the case.
Addressing reporters outside the courthouse, after Sandusky was taken in handcuffs to the Centre County Correctional Facility, Amendola said the judge’s decision to deny requests for more time could be the basis for an appeal.
“We fought our butts off,” Amendola said, “but realistically we knew, as I said many, many times, this was like climbing Mount Everest from the bottom, and obviously we didn’t make it.”