Published On: Wed, Oct 26th, 2016

Second Etan Patz Trial Heats Up

Etan Patz missing child investigation

Etan Patz missing child investigation

Etan Patz‘s family seeks justice in his 37 year old murder as things get tense at the retrial of his accused killer Pedro Hernandez. A second trial was needed after the first ended in a hung jury last year.

It took only one juror to refuse to convict Hernandez and keep the Patz family from finally getting closure.

At the time, Adam Sirois, the lone holdout, said that there just was not enough evidence in his mind to convict Pedro Hernandez of the murder. After sending them back for further deliberations and a total of 18 days of deliberation, Justice Maxwell Wiley finally discharged the jury.

So now the Patz family and prosecutors hope that all twelve members of the new jury will see the light.

According to a report in The New York Daily News, Neftali Gonzalez, 77, testified through an interpreter on Tuesday that he heard the defendant once confess to having murdered Etan Patz. “Pedro Hernandez fell on his knees crying and he confessed that he had taken a child, tried to abuse him, and the child didn’t let him.”

On Monday Chelsea Altman, who was a childhood friend of Etan Patz’s, broke down and cried on the witness stand after seeing a picture of little Etan.

Altman was grilled on the stand by defense attorney Harvey Fishbein over Etan Patz’s imaginary childhood friend named Johnny. She had maintained that Johnny never existed, but the defense asserts that he did and that it was actually this Johnny who murdered Etan and not Hernandez.

Trying to prove to the jury that Johnny was in fact real, Fishbein asked Altman about an interview she had with the police back then, “Did you tell Detective Shaw that in the two weeks prior to May 25, 1979, Etan talked a lot more about Johnny and said Johnny loved him and is going to travel all over with him?”

Altman said that she did not remember this and stated assertively, “I know in my overall memory that I believed it was imaginary, that it was a game.”

Etan Patz was born October 9, 1972, to Jewish parents. He disappeared in SoHo, lower Manhattan, on May 25, 1979. Etan was the first missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.

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.

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