NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The jury in the trial of the man accused of killing Etan Patz wrapped up a sixth day of deliberations Wednesday without reaching a verdict.

Jurors asked for a list of witnesses, exhibits and agreements that both sides made on matters of evidence, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, the jury may have signaled it’s considering evidence having to do with convicted pedophile Jose Ramos, the man the defense cast as a more likely predator than the defendant, Pedro Hernandez.

The jury requested a read-back of testimony from Etan’s best friend, Chelsea Altman, now 42 years old. She said she remembered vividly the day he disappeared, never showing up for the school bus. She said she also remembered the school bus strike, when a woman named Susan would walk the kids home, sometimes holding hands with a boyfriend the children knew as “Johnny.”

Altman said the man would promise to give them candy and that he had a van and wild, dark hair. The man she was describing was Ramos.

Hernandez confessed to killing the 6-year-old boy in SoHo in May 1979. He said he lured Patz into a bodega basement and strangled him.

The defense, however, says Hernandez is mentally ill and made up the story.

The defense has pointed repeatedly to Jose Ramos as the real suspect.

Ramos denied involvement. However, a former federal prosecutor and FBI agent 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.

Prosecutors argued that while Ramos may be a convicted pedophile, investigators never found enough evidence to ever charge him in Etan’s disappearance.

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

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.

Etan’s photo was one of the first to be featured on milk cartons and the day he went missing became National Missing Children’s Day.


Leave a Reply