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Defense lawyer in Etan Patz trial says guilty verdict should be thrown out

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Pedro Hernadez was found guilty.

NEW YORK — Lawyers for the man convicted in a retrial of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 say the verdict should be thrown out because the new jury knew members of the first jury were in court.

Alice Fontier says in court papers filed Wednesday that her client Pedro Hernandez could not have gotten a fair trial. She says one juror deliberating at the retrial knew and one alternate knew about former jurors who attended proceedings and sat with Stan Patz, Etan’s father. Hernandez was convicted Feb. 14 of murder.

Etan’s case captivated the nation. He was one of the first children to be pictured on milk cartons after he vanished May 25, 1979 on his way to school. He walking to his school bus stop alone for the first time, just two blocks from his home in SoHo. His face was one of the first to ever appear on a milk carton. Patz’ body was never found.

Fontier says a court officer told the new jury that the old jury was there.