Jerry Sandusky lawyer Amendola voices acquittal doubts
The lawyer for a former US college football coach on trial for child sex abuse says he would be shocked if his client was acquitted on all counts.
Joe Amendola said he would "die of a heart attack" if Jerry Sandusky, 68, was found not guilty of 48 counts of abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
Earlier, the jury paused deliberations to ask about charges relating to a boy known in court as Victim 8.
If convicted, Mr Sandusky could spend the rest of his life in jail.
The candid remarks from Mr Amendola also offered new insight into the tension inside Mr Sandusky's home as the three-week trial nears its end.
Mr Amendola said the former Penn State assistant coach and his wife, Dottie Sandusky, were spending a lot of their time praying. The atmosphere at the family house was like a funeral, he said.
The couple were "crushed" by allegations of abuse made on Thursday by their adult adopted son, Matt Sandusky, Mr Amendola added.
The lawyer also said he had talked to the Sandusky family about what they could expect when the verdict is read.
He described the case he took on as "daunting": "I've used the best example I could use: climbing Mount Everest from the bottom of the mountain," Mr Amendola said.
About 15 minutes after Mr Amendola began talking to reporters, he was summoned by bailiffs to the chambers of Judge John Cleland.
Lawyers are under orders from the judge not to discuss the case, but it was not made clear whether that was the reason for the judge's summons.Jury queries
Interrupting their deliberations on the second day since they were handed the case, the jury on Friday sought extra information and clarity about Victim 8, a boy who was not identified during the trial.
When asked about Victim 8, the judge said the jury needed to be satisfied that there was other evidence indicating the abuse occurred.
At the scene
Those who hung around in the courtroom while the jury was deliberating were treated to an impromptu press conference from defence lawyer Joe Amendola. In the brief time that he spoke, the always-audacious lawyer managed to raise some eyebrows. Namely, he said that he would have a "heart attack" were Mr Sandusky acquitted of all charges.
That does not necessarily mean that he thinks his client is guilty, or that he thinks their case is weak. Instead, it could tie into the narrative Mr Amendola developed in his closing argument: that the case against Mr Sandusky was the culmination of group-think at best and a conspiracy at worst. "I submit to you they're going to get him, hell or high water, even if they have to coach witnesses," Mr Amendola said in his closing argument.
His comments echoed that sentiment, calling the case he had to argue akin to "climbing Mount Everest from the bottom of the mountain". It is also possible that his statements were not part of a grand defence strategy but sheer exhaustion at the end of a long case, one in which his client faced dozens of sex abuse charges.
They could not rely solely on the testimony of a college janitor, who was relaying an account given to him by a colleague who did not testify, Judge Cleland told them.
Also on Friday morning, lawyers re-read testimony from two witnesses at the jury's request.
They re-heard evidence from former graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who told a court he saw Mr Sandusky molest a boy in a shower at Penn State university's athletic facilities.
They were also read out testimony from Dr Jonathan Dranov who had testified that Mr McQueary had given him a different account of what he saw.
Mr McQueary also testified that he did not tell the doctor everything he had seen.
The jury have now been deliberating for more than 17 hours.
Since the judge has ordered the jury to be sequestered while they deliberate the case, they should have no knowledge of a development on Thursday, in which the defendant's adult adopted son alleged that his father abused him.
Speaking through a lawyer, the 33-year-old said he met prosecutors earlier this week and was prepared to testify in the trial.
It was apparently the first time he had come forward with such allegations.
Matt Sandusky could not testify directly because he was not included as an accuser in the charges. But the prosecution could have put him on the stand as a rebuttal witness if his father had testified.
In closing arguments the prosecution described Mr Sandusky as a "predatory paedophile", while the defence said his accusers had financial motives.
Eight men aged between 18 and 28 testified during the nearly two-week trial, providing graphic details of the alleged abuse.
The case caused a scandal at Penn State, a university that boasts one of the nation's proudest football traditions.
It led to the removal of the university president, Graham Spanier, and legendary football coach Joe Paterno.