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Abbreviated Penn State Child Abuse Trial Hearing Centers On Defendant Representation

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Today’s long-anticipated pretrial hearing in the case against Penn State University’s former president and two other top school officials accused of covering up the Jerry Sandusky scandal turned out to be an unexpectedly short proceeding.

Judge Todd Hoover shut down the hearing after a few minutes, hearing no witnesses, instead entering into the record documents pertaining to former Penn State chief counsel Cynthia Baldwin.

The three accused men say they believed that Baldwin was representing them when they testified before a grand jury.

But she is now a key prosecution witness.

“Judge Hoover, I believe, took the position that, at least for the time being, the witnesses were unnecessary to his decision. And of course, this is his courtroom, this is his decision to make,” said attorney Elizabeth Ainslie, who is representing former PSU president  Graham Spanier.  “He has said that it is entirely possible that we will have another hearing, at which time the defense can subpoena these witnesses.”

An attorney for Baldwin insists that she fulfilled all of her obligations at all times.

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