New York

Judge won't toss murder conviction in 1979 missing-boy case

  • FILE- In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, Pedro Hernandez appears in Manhattan criminal court in New York. A New York judge on Thursday, April 6, 2017, denied a motion to throw out the murder conviction of Hernandez in an infamous 1979 missing-child case. Hernandez was convicted in February in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished on his way to a school bus. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, Pool, File)

    FILE- In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, Pedro Hernandez appears in Manhattan criminal court in New York. A New York judge on Thursday, April 6, 2017, denied a motion to throw out the murder conviction of Hernandez in an infamous 1979 missing-child case. Hernandez was convicted in February in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished on his way to a school bus. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this May 28, 2012, file photo, a photograph of Etan Patz hangs on an angel figurine, which is part of a makeshift memorial in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. A New York judge on Thursday, April 6, 2017, denied a motion to throw out the murder conviction of Pedro Hernandez in an infamous 1979 missing-child case. Hernandez was convicted in February in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished on his way to a school bus (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

    FILE- In this May 28, 2012, file photo, a photograph of Etan Patz hangs on an angel figurine, which is part of a makeshift memorial in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. A New York judge on Thursday, April 6, 2017, denied a motion to throw out the murder conviction of Pedro Hernandez in an infamous 1979 missing-child case. Hernandez was convicted in February in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished on his way to a school bus (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)  (The Associated Press)

A New York judge has denied a motion to throw out the murder conviction of a man in an infamous 1979 missing-child case.

Maple Shade, New Jersey, resident Pedro Hernandez was convicted in February in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz (AY'-tahn payts), who vanished on his way to a school bus. His attorneys argued he didn't get a fair trial because some jurors knew that members of an earlier jury that forced a mistrial attended court and sat with the boy's father.

The judge said Thursday there wasn't enough evidence to support jury tampering and court was public. He set an April 18 sentencing date.

Etan was among the first missing children pictured on milk cartons. His case helped shape parenting and law enforcement.

Hernandez's lawyers say a surprise confession he gave in 2012 was false.