BELLEFONTE (KDKA) — People from near and far came to Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte to listen in on closing arguments Thursday morning and they weren’t just watching the attorneys who were speaking.
They were also watching the seven women and five men who are now deciding Jerry Sandusky’s fate.
“Not a lot of body language. They were trying to have I thought a poker face, trying to be very in tune and really focused on … the conversation that was being told,” Maggie Martz, a courtroom observer, said.
Also keeping an eye on the jury was Tom Kline, the attorney for Victim No. 5.
“I thought they were largely dispassionate. Some of the jurors who have been proficient note takers throughout were taking some notes,” he said. “A lot of the jurors just sat and watched, essentially, dispassionately.”
Jerry Sandusky is now facing 48 counts of child sex abuse.
Defense attorney Joe Amendola told jurors that the accusers were coached into their stories and questioned their motives.
Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan attacked Sandusky, saying he behaved like a serial predatory pedophile.
“I believe that their reactions were mixed because obviously, [the] majority of them are affiliated to Penn State one way or the other,” Scott Martz, a courtroom observer, said. “I believe that the jury will make the best decision to their knowledge and I’m hoping that justice is served in this case.”
Judge John Cleland stressed to the jury that it’s not necessarily a crime to touch a child and they must carefully consider Jerry Sandusky’s intent when distinguishing between innocent affection and lust.
“This jury looked like a jury who knew the case, watched the case, understood the case and was ready to in lawyer parlance get the case,” Kline said.
Meanwhile, media from across the country and beyond showed up in larger numbers than throughout the entire trial. They swarmed those who were lucky enough to get inside the courtroom.
The crowd outside the courthouse will likely continue to grow until a verdict is announced.