The focus in the Penn State / Sandusky scandal moves to Harrisburg this morning and we've again assembled the best damned liveblog in the business to cover the preliminary hearing for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz's charges of perjury and failure to report child abuse. In many ways, it's a bigger event than the aborted Sandusky hearing earlier this week. The testimony will not be nearly as traumatic and riveting, but it's the alleged actions of Curley and Schultz (not to mention Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno) that made this entire ordeal a Penn State scandal, not a case about a lone predator abusing children.
This hearing is not expected to get waived by the defendants. As we've learned, preliminary hearings are a rather low bar for a prosecutor, but some legal experts think that an outright dismissal of the charges isn't entirely out of the question. Curley and Schultz have been pushing their case to the media through a joint website, SchultzCurleyInfo.com.
Mike McQueary is once again expected to take the witness stand -- he's obviously the key witness in the Commonwealth's case against Curley and Schultz. According to Sara Ganim of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, McQueary will be the only witness to testify this morning.
[Cover It Live liveblog app moved below the jump.]
A source close to the case said Thursday that McQueary is expected to be the sole prosecution witness and that the defense isn’t planning to call anyone else to the stand. And even though credibility is the premise of a perjury charge, attorneys for Schultz and Curley will be limited in their defense today.
“It is true that a judge is not going to allow defense counsel to raise issues that would relate to the credibility of the witness — background, questions about past, etc.,” said Walter Cohen, a former state attorney general. “But the judge will have to make a decision as to whether the evidence presented before him is credible. He makes some judgment on the issue of credibility.”
So, questions about the potentially conflicting accounts could come into play.
“I would think they’re going to certainly try to ask questions about that,” said Arthur T. Donato, an attorney and Villanova University adjunct professor following the case. “And that’s where the discretions of a judge will come into play. ... The decision rises and falls on the testimony of one witness, many judges would give more latitude than they would otherwise give in a preliminary hearing.”
“I would think there is going to be some things that a judge in his discretion is going to allow them to ask,” he said.