After 14 days of strenuous deliberations that involved hearing hours of testimonies, exhibits and spreadsheets, jurors in the murder case of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who was kidnapped and killed in 1979, requested from the judge the permission for a new tool – a printer.
The request was made Monday, when members of the jury said that they needed the device to print some spreadsheets that would better help them reflect on the case. Although the judge had previously declined to grant such request, he eventually gave his permission on Monday since some technical problems had been solved.
The jurors had previously also asked for a portable computer to help them organize their thoughts and elaborate some spreadsheets. On Monday, they handed over to the judge a note asking for a printing device that would help them generate a dozen of hard copies of the spreadsheets. They had four “tabs” to print.
On April 29, Etan Patz jury told judge they reached a deadlock. In return, the judge asked them to speed up deliberations. On Monday, they were already in the 14th day of deliberations without a verdict. They currently need to decide whether the main suspect Pedro Hernandez did kill Patz, who was last seen walking towards a bus station in SoHo more than 35 years ago.
Hernandez, 54, was taken under custody three years ago, when his brother-in-law reported to the police that he confessed several years ago that he had killed a young boy.
The main suspect told investigators that he had offered the boy a soda to gain his trust and lure him into his workplace’s basement. In 1979, Herdnandez worked for a SoHo bodega. The man said that as he was standing in the basement with the boy something took over him and he felt the urge to choke him to death.
He also said that he felt bad for what he did after he got out of that sudden frenzy and saw the young boy’s body lying on the floor. He acknowledged that he hid the body in a box under some curbside debris. Nevertheless, nobody ever found the boy’s remains.
Hernandez’s lawyers claim that the whole investigation was flawed since police officers failed to read their client’s rights before questioning him for several hours. Defense attorneys also claim that the man’s confession cannot be true due to Hernandez’s mental illness history, repeated hallucinations, and an IQ below average.
On the other hand, defense believes that the main culprit is Jose Ramos, a man with a consistent history of child abuse. Although, Ramos said that he was not involved in the case, a former FBI agent recalls that he told police that he was 90 percent sure that the boy he kidnapped from a park was Patz.
Moreover, a witness told jury that he heard Ramos saying that he molested the child. Before Etan’s death, Ramos was involved in a relationship with a woman that was hired by the boy’s parents to bring him safe from school because bus drivers were on a strike. Yet, prosecutors said that they found not enough evidence to prove Ramos involvement despite being a convicted pedophile.
Image Source: Eye on America