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NEW YORK – 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.