56, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for
murder and kidnapping before Justice Maxwell Wiley in Manhattan
state court after a jury found him guilty in February.
Patz vanished as he walked alone for the first time to a school
bus stop in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood on May 25, 1979. He
would become one of the first missing children to appear on the
side of a milk carton seeking information.
For more than three decades, the case endured as one of the
country's most infamous missing child cases until police
arrested Hernandez in May 2012 after receiving a tip.
Hernandez, who worked in a bodega near the bus stop, confessed
to strangling the boy and then leaving his body in a box
His lawyers argued that the admission was the result of police
coercion as well as mental illness that made it difficult for
Hernandez to separate fantasy from reality. Patz's body was
never found, leaving the confession as the key piece of evidence
The defense also pointed to another man, Jose Ramos, a convicted
pedophile who was long considered a suspect in the crime. Ramos,
who is in prison, had a relationship with a woman hired to walk
Patz home from school.
A previous trial ended in a mistrial in 2015 when a single juror
out of 12 refused to convict Hernandez after weeks of
deliberations, prompting prosecutors to retry him.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Tom Brown)
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