Sandusky case juror profiles: All are Caucasian and most have ties to Penn State

Emily Kaplan
Special to Yahoo! Sports

BELLEFONTE, Pa. – The jury that will hear the child-molestation case of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was chosen surprisingly fast. Twelve jurors and four alternates were seated in less than two days.

Who are these people? Seven jurors and two alternates are women; five jurors and two alternates are men. A smattering of details about their lives and livelihoods were made public during the selection process. They all live in Centre County, Pa., and all are Caucasian. Most had heard about Sandusky and the charges against him through news reports and word of mouth in the tight-knit county, pop. 155,000.

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[Related: Prospective jurors wear Penn State gear]

Eight jurors and two alternates have close ties to Penn State, which is 10 miles from the courthouse and where Sandusky coached for 30 years. The 68-year-old Sandusky is charged with 52 criminal counts for alleged abuse of 10 boys over 15 years.

Here's a closer look at the jurors and alternates:

Juror No. 1 – A Walmart employee and the mother of two. She said she doesn't consume much news and thinks she can be fair in determining a verdict. She was the first person interviewed.

Juror No. 2 – A 24-year-old man who will attend Pennsylvania College of Technology this fall to study automotive technology. His father worked for Penn State for 30 years in the office of the physical plant.


Juror No. 3 – A middle-aged woman who has held Penn State football season tickets for 24 years. Her husband is a physician at the same medical group as John McQueary, whose son Mike McQueary is a key witness for the prosecution. She said she is a "casual" acquaintance of the elder McQueary. Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, initially tried to strike her from the jury pool. However, Sandusky convinced his attorney otherwise, saying "I think she can be fair."

Juror No. 4 – A male who has lived in State College for nine years. A Maryland native, he is an engineer and said he stopped following the case 10 weeks ago when he reached his "saturation level."

Juror No. 5 – A 2003 Penn State graduate who teaches physics and chemistry at Bellefonte Area High School. He has two sons and a daughter and teaches a summer program at Penn State. Amendola asked if he could be impartial given that he has two sons, and he replied yes.

Juror No. 6 – A female who works at a property company in State College. She said she doesn't consume much news. "I just heard about it," she said when asked what she knew about the case. "I didn't hear any details or anything specific."

Juror No. 7 – A Penn State senior and native of Centre County. He works at a Penn State athletic facility and knows Steve Turchetta, the Clinton County high school coach who hired Sandusky as a volunteer assistant. He came to the courthouse wearing a navy T-shirt that read "Penn State archery." His cousin played football at Penn State under Joe Paterno and his mother works in the State College Area School District.

Juror No. 8 – A retired Penn State soil science professor in the College of Agriculture. He reads the Centre Daily Times, the local newspaper, and has watched television reports about the case. He retired four years ago after teaching for 37 years.

Juror No. 9 – A female retired school bus driver who said she reads local newspapers. She said her job as a bus driver was to protect the kids. "I can't just see children hurt," she said.

Juror No. 10 – A middle-aged woman who is an administrative assistant in Penn State's College of Engineering. She has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Juror No. 11 – A dance teacher in Penn State's continuing education program and mother of a 6-year-old boy. She occasionally has conversations about the case with her husband, who is a media specialist at a transportation center at Penn State. She knows Kelly Hastings, a potential witness.

Juror No. 12 – A female Penn State professor for 24 years who had a professional relationship with former president Graham Spanier, but the two had no social interaction. She served on a committee for six years that met with Spanier and current Penn State President Rodney Erickson. She is the mother of two boys, ages 14 and 16.

Alternate Juror No. 1 – She is a 2007 Penn State graduate in the College of Health and Human Development and said she has been attending Nittany Lion football games for as long as she can remember. Sandusky spoke at her graduation but she doesn't remember what he spoke about.

Alternate Juror No. 2 – A middle-aged unmarried woman who doesn't have children and said she doesn't follow the news closely.

Alternate Juror No. 3 – A middle-aged Penn State graduate who frequently attends football games and works in Reading, Pa. He has two sons, ages 29 and 30. His wife is director of Upward Bound, a Penn State program designed to help high school students prepare for college.

Alternate Juror No. 4 – A woman in her 60s who said she doesn't trust media reports and firmly believes in innocent until proven guilty. She and her husband left State College when they were 19, but returned 42 years later. She has no Penn State connections.

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