NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Manhattan jury has not reached a verdict after its first full day of deliberations in the trial of a man accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979.
The jury has heard 10 weeks of testimony and will decide the fate of Pedro Hernandez, who made a surprise confession in 2012.
Hernandez said he lured Etan to a bodega basement in SoHo by promising a soda. Hernandez says he then strangled the boy, boxed his body and left it with trash about two blocks away. The body was never found. His statement was supported by circumstantial evidence.
The jury heard from witnesses including prayer group members who said Hernandez made similar statements about killing a child over the years. Hernandez's former neighbor and ex-wife also said he confessed.
However, the defense attorney says Hernandez is a work of fiction -- made from a mentally-challenged mind with a low IQ and a flase belief in guilt, a cause of a seven hour interrogation. The defense claims convicted pedophile Jose Ramos, who had connections with Patz's babysitter, is the real killer.
The case had helped fuel the national missing-children's movement.