(NEW YORK) — After the jury presiding over the murder trial of Pedro Hernandez came back deadlocked for a third time, a judge declared a mistrial Friday — the 18th day of deliberations.
After the jury told the judge that they could not agree on a verdict the previous two times, the judge had told them to keep going. The judge had previously rejected a defense request for a mistrial, saying he wanted to jury to continue “just one more time.”
Hernandez was charged with killing Etan Patz, the boy whose disappearance in 1979 put faces of missing children on milk cartons. His lawyers say their client had confessed, falsely, to the killing.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance released a statement on the hung jury declaration, thanking the Patz family for their “courage and determination,” the prosecutors in the case for “devoting their time, skills and expertise to one of the city’s most painful and unresolved cases,” and the jurors for fulfilling “one of our society’s most important civic responsibilities.”
Vance will have to decide whether to move for a re-trial.
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