Three former Penn State officials are making one more effort to head off an upcoming trial.
Attorneys for former Penn State president Graham Spanier, former vice president for finance Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley all submitted motions in Dauphin County Court on Wednesday that could possibly throw in a wrench into the criminal case that was finally chugging toward a trial after more than five years.
The motions are to certify an interlocutory order for appeal.
“This court has discretion to certify that an interlocutory order is appropriate for immediate appellate review,” the three nearly identical sets of documents state.
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They go back to the order issued by Berks County Senior Judge John Boccabella on Feb. 1. That was when the judge not only set jury selection in the case for March 20 but also ruled on a laundry list of pretrial filings.
Several of those are questioned by the three men’s attorneys, who want a higher court to rule on Boccabella’s decision.
They claim there is a legal question on whether the child endangerment and conspiracy charges should be “time barred as a matter of law.”
They also question rulings on whether the men were mandated reporters at the time period in question, whether the child endangerment charges would violate both state and federal constitutions and how the remaining conspiracy charge can be pursued after “the Superior Court’s dismissal of the single consolidated conspiracy charge.”
The lawyers say putting the matter in front of the Superior Court might preclude the need for a trial altogether.
The charges stem from testimony delivered by the three to an investigating grand jury in 2011 regarding retired Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was subsequently convicted on 45 of 48 counts of various child sex abuse charges in 2012.
A number of other charges have been dismissed over the years as the case has gone before other judges.