Suspect indicted in ’79 death of NYC boy
NEW YORK – A man authorities say confessed to the infamous 1979 disappearance of a 6-year-old boy from his New York City neighborhood has been formally charged with murder and kidnapping, a major milestone in a case that has stymied investigators and Etan Patz’s devoted family for decades.
The indictment against Pedro Hernandez, 51, of Maple Shade, N.J., was made public Wednesday and sets up a potential showdown at trial over whether prosecutors can convince a jury that his claim that he strangled the boy is credible. The suspect’s attorney has argued that Hernandez, who is due today in state court in Manhattan on second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charges, is mentally ill and prone to hallucinations, and that his confession can’t be trusted.
“The indictment is based solely on statements allegedly made by my client, who has, in the past, been repeatedly diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia,” defense attorney Harvey Feinstein said in a statement.
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