(CBS/AP) BELLEFONTE, Pa. - With all the publicity generated by Jerry Sandusky's lawyer Joseph Amendola, the decision today to waive a preliminary hearing in the sex-abuse case against the former Penn State football coach was unexpected.
Amendola told the Associated Press Monday there have been no plea negotiations and that his client was "looking forward" to the hearing.
After the decision was made Tuesday Morning, Amendola spoke from the courthouse steps and said, "There will be no plea negotiations. This is a fight to the death."
The attorney calls the decision to waive the hearing a "tactical" measure.
As Sandusky left the courthouse, he told reporters he would "stay the course, to fight for four quarters," and "wait for the opportunity to present our side."
Amendola said Sandusky made this choice to head off a repeat of the child sex-abuse allegations, which "really would have left us with the worst of all worlds." He claimed the decision had nothing to do with "cowardice or gamesmanship," and that the defense was not conceding guilt.
Before news of today's hearing procedure, Amendola had said he had wanted to lock witnesses into testimony and learn more details about the government's case.
Sandusky will now move forward to a trial where he faces over 50 charges stemming from what authorities say were sexual assaults over 15 years. Ten of the alleged assaults occurred in his home, on Penn State property and elsewhere. Some of the 10 accusers had been expected to face Sandusky and testify at Tuesday's hearing.
Although this move was unexpected, Senior Deputy Attorney General E. Marc Costanzo said it was not unusual given the strength of the state's case.