NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A battle of the experts wrapped up the hearing Tuesday on whether Pedro Hernandez was capable of understanding his Miranda rights before confessing to killing 6-year-old Etan Patz.
Defense witness Dr. Bruce Frumkin said in Manhattan Supreme Court that Hernandez did not know what he was doing, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.READ MORE: New York City Rolls Out $100 Incentive For Getting Vaccinated As CDC Report Warns Delta Variant As Contagious As Chicken Pox
Dr. Michael Sweda testified for the prosecution that Hernandez compared favorably with other defendants he’d examined. Hernandez’s lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, argued that is not saying much because Hernandez was being compared with defendants who claim to be taking orders from outer space.
Fishbein claims that Hernandez’s confession, 33 years after the fact, was the result of hallucinations and a low IQ.
Judge Maxwell Wiley will be considering a number of jailhouse phone calls made by Hernandez in determining whether he was mentally capable of waiving his rights before admitting to the 1979 slaying.
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon summed up the phone calls Hernandez made to his wife and daughter as showing that the defendant was acting lucid, giving sound advice on finances, discussing legal strategy, even boasting that he’d been able to stand up for himself in a jailhouse confrontation.READ MORE: Broadway Vaccine Mandate: Audiences Must Be Vaccinated And Masked; Performers, Crew And Staff Required To Be Vaccinated
Those conversations, said the prosecutor, show that he has a level of intelligence.
In 2012, police got a lead that brought them to Hernandez, who had worked at a bodega in SoHo where Etan disappeared.
After agreeing to go to a police station near his home in Maple Shade, New Jersey, Hernandez was questioned for about seven hours before detectives advised him of his right to remain silent. They then recorded him saying he lured Etan into the store with a promise of a soda, suffocated him in the basement, put the body in a bag, stuffed the bag inside a box and left it on the street, authorities have said.
Despite the confession, Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.MORE NEWS: Man Suffers Broken Nose In Alleged Anti-Asian Attack At Midtown Subway Station
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