Judge to take on validity of purported confession in Etan Patz case

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NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan judge must decide whether to allow the videotaped confession of a man charged with murder in the death of Etan Patz, who went missing in 1979.

The hearing begins Monday and is expected to last several weeks.

A lawyer for Pedro Hernandez says the confession was wrongly obtained. He says in court papers that his client lacks the mental ability to understand his rights. Prosecutors have argued the confession was legally obtained.

Etan Patz was 6 years old when he disappeared on May 25, 1979, walking to school. His body has never been found.

Hernandez was charged with the crime two years ago after he confessed, but pleaded not guilty. His attorney Harvey Fishbein says the confession is false.

The hearing will determine whether the confession is admissible in court, not whether it's true.

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