NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge says 50 pounds of potatoes and a produce box can’t be used as evidence in the murder trial of the man accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979.

Judge Maxwell Wiley on Thursday denied the defense request, saying it would raise too much speculation for jurors in Pedro Hernandez’s trial.

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Etan disappeared while walking to his school bus stop in SoHo on May 25, 1979. He was never found, but was legally declared dead as the investigation spanned decades.

Hernandez emerged as a suspect in 2012 based on a tip and a videotaped confession that prosecutors say was foreshadowed by remarks he made to friends and relatives in the 1980s.

In Hernandez’s videotaped, hourslong confessions, he says he offered Etan a soda to entice him into the basement of the bodega where he worked. He told authorities he then choked Etan, put the body in a bag and a banana box and dumped it about two blocks away.

Defense attorneys are trying to show the confession was made up by a mentally ill man. They say he was too weak to have carried a box that far.

“According to the prosecution, my client carried it up a flight of steps, a block and a half when he was 18 years old, which might sound possible except he was 112 pounds and 5 foot 3, nonathletic,” defense attorney Harvey Fishbein said.

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Prosecutors say the confession is accurate and medical records show Etan weighed far less than 50 pounds.

The judge also refused to allow the defense to put longtime suspect Jose Ramos on the witness stand just to take the fifth, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.

Ramos had been dating the boy’s baby sitter and later served time in Pennsylvania for molesting two other boys.

Authorities said Ramos made incriminating statements when questioned about Etan in the 1980s, though he never confessed to killing the boy.

Ramos has denied it, but a civil court found him liable for Etan’s death in 2004 after Ramos stopped cooperating with questioning.

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