NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The jury deciding the fate of Pedro Hernandez held a ninth day of deliberations Monday.

Hernandez confessed to luring 6-year-old Etan Patz into a bodega basement in SoHo and strangling him in May 1979, but the defense maintains he made up the story due to mental illness.

Last week, the jury asked for a rereading of testimony from a former federal prosecutor and former FBI agent who investigated another suspect, convicted child molester Jose Ramos.

The jury has been taking its time to consider the defense case that convicted child molester Jose Ramos is more likely to have snatched Etan Patz off the streets of SoHo and killed him 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 the two defense witnesses — former federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois and former FBI agent Mary Galligan.

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.

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.

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.


Leave a Reply