The man that led to a hung jury in the Etan Patz murder case said there wasn’t enough evidence to convict 54-year-old Pedro Hernandez of killing the 6-year-old child in 1979.
Adam Sirois was the sole juror left after nearly 19 days of deliberations that felt the accused killer’s confession wasn’t enough.
“Ultimately I couldn’t find enough evidence that wasn’t circumstantial to convict,” Sirois said after Justice Maxwell Wiley declared a mistrial Friday afternoon. “I couldn’t get there.”
Friday evening, at a post-trial dinner to which the 35-year-old Upper West Side resident was not invited, six of his fellow jurors blasted the holdout.
“We never want to see him again,” juror Chris Giliberti, 27, was overheard saying. Giliberti told the Daily News Sirois was convinced Hernandez was totally delusional – a belief Giliberti found irrational based on the evidence.
Sirois, known as juror 11 during the 10-week trial, said he felt Hernandez’s mental state was too questionable to convict.
“For me his confession was very bizarre no matter how many times it happened it got more and more bizarre,” he said. “And I felt like mental health issues were a huge part of this case.”
The jury struggled for three long weeks, poring over pieces of evidence and asking to re-listen to days of testimony. Twice the jury sent notice to Justice Maxwell to say that they could not reach a unanimous decsion. Jurors at a press conference after their dismissal said the group was split 10-2 on Friday morning.
Sirois maintained his position as the other 11 jurors were eventually convinced of Hernandez’s guilt.
Hernandez confessed in 2012 to killing Etan, but his lawyers maintained that he was mentally ill.
Little Etan went missing from the Lower East Side May 25, 1979 and was one of the first children to appear on a milk carton after his disappearance.
No physical evidence tied Hernandez to the crime. No DNA was found. Hernandez’s ex-wife testified that she once saw part of Etan’s missing-child poster in a box belonging to Hernandez, but authorities turned up nothing.
Sirois wasn’t the only one with doubts when the jury entered deliberations three weeks ago.
“A large chunk of people who were unsure, who had a feeling but hadn’t got to past reasonable doubt yet,” said juror Jennifer O’Connor. “It took a few days for me to work through and analyze the testimony and the corroborating evidence.”
But Hernandez’s troubled history with drugs and mental issues eventually convinced the events coordinator from the Upper East Side that he was the one who killed Etan.
“It seemed to be a profile of someone who did something heinous and was trying to repress it, suppress it, bury it deep down and that was another big piece for me.”
Hernandez will remain in jail to await another trial and is due back in court June 10 for a status update.
“Pedro Hernandez, you know what you did,” forewoman Alia Dahhan said after the case ended in a hung jury.
Others on the jury offered their support to the Patz family — and held out hope for a retrial.
“I would just like them to know that we did our best and that we stand behind them in their urging of the DAs office to pursue another trial,” juror Tyrel Limb-Martori said.
ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.
With Maria Villasenor
- 'Operation Broken Heart': 2,3000 Suspected Child Sex Offenders Nabbed in Nationwide Operation
- Man Charged in Murder of 9-Year-Old Trinity Love Jones Was Dating Jones' Mother, According to Police
- Fitbit data used to charge suspect with murder
- Brit is prime suspect in murder probe into missing mother and daughter in Canada
- Man Whose Child-Sex Sentence Caused Uproar Reaches Deal
- Man jailed for murdering his boss and writing ‘Bully’ over her face
- Ireland to charge suspect for murder of British spy in IRA
- Man arrested over murder of Rosina Coleman in her own home
- This Is the Man Suspected of Killing 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes
- Man Charged With Murder In 2016 Death Of Brockton Toddler