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Deliberations in Etan Patz murder case resume

Jury deliberations resumed in the Etan Patz murder

Jury deliberations resumed in the Etan Patz murder retrial of Pedro Hernandez on Feb. 3, 2017. Photo Credit: Pool Photo / Steven Hirsch

Jurors in the Manhattan retrial of Pedro Hernandez for allegedly killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 resumed their deliberations Friday over the notorious child disappearance case.

The panel of eight men and six women in State Supreme Court in Manhattan deliberated Thursday for about 90 minutes. 

Deliberations in the first trial in 2015 of the 37-year-old mystery lasted 17 days and ended with the jury deadlocked 11-1 for conviction. The retrial lasted three months.

Etan’s father, Stan Patz, Hernandez’s wife, Rosemary, and his daughter Becky, and several members of the first jury including lone holdout Adam Sirois were all in court Thursday as Justice Maxwell Wiley instructed the panel.

“To the best of your ability I ask you to apply common sense and good judgment,” Wiley told the jurors.

Hernandez, 54, of Maple Shade, New Jersey, was a bodega clerk in Etan’s SoHo neighborhood when the boy vanished without a trace on his way to catch a school bus.

A relative tipped off police in 2012 that Hernandez had made incriminating statements. Hernandez recorded a confession after a lengthy interrogation.

He said he lured Etan into the bodega basement and strangled the boy, putting the body in a box and carrying it to a garbage bin. He gave no motive, but prosecutors believe he sexually assaulted the boy.

The defense contends the confession was a delusion stemming from schizotypal personality disorder, a mental condition, and has tried to blame another longtime suspect, convicted child molester Jose Ramos, who had a link to the Patz family.

The jury foreman, whose name Newsday is withholding, identified himself as an electrical engineer for the MTA during voir dire. Other jurors include a software architect, a person with an MBA, a construction company lawyer, a retired tax auditor and a college professor.

Jury selection began in September, and the retrial transcript runs more than 10,000 pages. Hernandez is charged with second-degree murder and kidnapping.

With Chau Lam

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