Published On: Thu, Apr 30th, 2015

Etan Patz Jury Still deadlocked


Etan Patz

The jury in the Etan Patz case is still deadlocked after two weeks of deliberations. The judge has ordered them to continue working on reaching a verdict.

Yesterday afternoon the jurors sent the judge a not saying, “We the jury after 10 days of deliberations want to let the court know that we are unable to reach a unanimous decision.” But the judge presiding over the case, Justice Maxwell Wiley, asked the jury to give it another try.

In what’s known as an “Allen Charge, ” he told the jurors, “Given nature of this case, I don’t think you’ve been considering this case long enough to conclude you cannot reach a verdict.”

“Make every effort, consistent with your conscience, to harmonize your views — and to come to unanimous agreement if one is possible, ” the judge added.

This, of course, did not sit well with the defense. Attorney Harvey Fishbein, told reporters, “The fact that they can’t render a verdict at this point tells me they cannot do it. And to try to coerce them into it, which is the nature of the Allen charge, is wrong.”

Etan Patz was born October 9, 1972, both parents Jewish, and six years later, on May 25, 1979, he disappeared in SoHo, lower Manhattan, to become the first widely celebrated case of a disappearing child. Etan was the first ever missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.

His disappearance helped create the missing children’s movement, which pushed new legislation and new methods for tracking missing children.

The case of Etan Patz’s disappearance was reopened in 2010 by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. A self-confessed suspect, Pedro Hernandez, was charged and indicted in 2012 on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. In 2014, the case went through a series of hearings to determine if Hernandez’s statements before receiving the Miranda warning were legally admissible. His trial began in January 2015.

Hernandez said he had choked Patz in a bodega basement after promising him a soda if he followed him down there.

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