NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The jury deciding the fate of Pedro Hernandez began an eighth day of deliberations Friday.

Hernandez, 54, has confessed to killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in SoHo in May 1979. He said he lured Patz into a bodega basement and strangled him.

The defense maintains Hernandez made up the story due to mental illness.

The jury has asked for a re-reading of testimony from two defense witnesses — former federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois and former FBI agent Mary Galligan — who both investigated another suspect, convicted child molester Jose Ramos.

Ramos lived in SoHo at the time and was friends with the woman who often walked Patz to school, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported. He was later convicted of abusing children and in the early 1980s lived in an old water pipe in the Bronx where investigators found child pornography.

The defense has pointed repeatedly to Ramos as the real suspect. Ramos denied involvement. However, the 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.


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