Jury At Etan Patz Murder Trial Begins 10th Day Of Deliberations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The jury deciding the fate of Pedro Hernandez begins a 10th day of deliberations Tuesday.

Hernandez has confessed to luring 6-year-old Etan Patz into the basement of a SoHo bodega and strangling him in May 1979. The child’s body was never found.

Defense lawyers maintain Hernandez made up the story due to mental illness and claim the real killer is convicted child molester Jose Ramos.

The jury has been taking its time to consider the defense case that Ramos is more likely to have snatched and killed Etan than Hernandez.

Prosecutors have dismissed the Ramos theory, calling him a despicable pedophile but saying the evidence against him was never enough.

The jury on Monday listened to more testimony from two defense witnesses — former federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois and former FBI agent Mary Galligan — who both investigated Ramos.

The defense has pointed repeatedly to Ramos as the real suspect. Ramos denied involvement. However, GraBois and Galligan testified that Ramos told investigators he was “90 percent” sure a boy he took from a park was Etan, and Hernandez’s former prison cellmate testified that Ramos admitted molesting the boy.

Ramos never took the witness stand in this trial.

Jurors are deciding whether Hernandez is guilty or not on three separate charges: second-degree murder, felony murder and kidnapping.

When asked about the length of the deliberations, defense attorney Harvey Fishbein said it’s not unusual.

“Every jury deliberation is unique, I don’t think there’s anything shocking about this jury taking almost two weeks on a 10-week complex trial,” Fishbein said Tuesday. “They have already asked for a lot of information and they’re working their way through, and one hopes and expects that they are deliberating. It’s been quiet and we’ll wait for some notice from them.”

The two different murder charges result from different theories under the law. If the jury finds that Hernandez deliberately killed Etan, they will convict him on second-degree murder charges.

If the panel decides Etan’s death resulted from actions during the course of a kidnapping, they will find him guilty on the felony murder charge.

Each of the three charges is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE