Confession in Etan Patz case was false, lawyer says in bid to dismiss case

Posted at 9:54 AM, Apr 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-07 15:05:50-04

Pedro Hernandez is accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz.

The New Jersey man  who last year confessed to killing Etan Patz  now wants the case dismissed.

According to court papers filed Wednesday,  a lawyer for Pedro Hernandez said the confession in the 1979 abduction and murder was false. Hernandez was indicted last fall in the case that has never left the headlines. Six-year-old Etan vanished on his way to a school bus stop in SoHo. It was the first time his parents let him make the trip alone.

Last year, Hernandez confessed to killing Patz, claiming he lured him into the basement of a bodega where he worked and later dumped his body in street garbage.

Prosecutors have said there is enough evidence to support the charges against Hernandez.

Etan Patz

Etan Patz disappeared from a SoHo street in May 1979.

Last year, Erin Duggan, a spokeman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, defended the strength of the case.

“This indictment is the outcome of a lengthy and deliberative process, involving months of factual investigation and legal analysis.  We believe the evidence that Mr. Hernandez killed Etan Patz to be credible and persuasive, and that his statements are not the product of any mental illness.”

Police investigate Etan’s disappearance in May 1979. (WPIX file)

Hernandez’s defense attorney, Harvey Fishbein, said last year that a trial will not reveal the truth of what happened to little Etan.

“The indictment is based solely on statements allegedly made by my client, who has, in the past, been repeatedly diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, and who has, over the last six months, been found to suffer from schizotypal personality disorder, which is characterized by, among other things, unusual perceptual experiences, commonly referred to as hallucinations.”