NEW YORK (AP) — A man authorities say confessed to the infamous 1979 disappearance of a 6-year-old boy from his New York City neighborhood has been formally charged with murder and kidnapping, a major milestone in a case that has stymied investigators and Etan Patz's devoted family for decades.
The indictment against Pedro Hernandez, 51, of Maple Shade, N.J., was made public Wednesday and sets up a potential showdown at trial over whether prosecutors can convince a jury that his claim that he strangled the boy — a secret kept for more than 30 years — is credible.
The suspect's attorney has argued that Hernandez, who is due Thursday in state court in Manhattan on second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charges, is mentally ill and prone to hallucinations, and that his confession can't be trusted.
"Nothing that occurs in the course of this trial will answer what actually happened to Etan Patz," defense attorney Harvey Feinstein said in a statement. "The indictment is based solely on statements allegedly made by my client, who has, in the past, been repeatedly diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia."
Prosecutors countered that an exhaustive post-arrest investigation found enough evidence to seek an indictment and proceed to trial.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York woman who spent more than 13 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing her teenage daughter has reached a $2.7 million settlement with the state.
An attorney for Lynn DeJac Peters says Tuesday she's pleased her battle for compensation from New York is over. DeJac Peters initially sought $10 million in a written demand in 2009 but lowered the amount as time went on. Earlier this year, she accused the state of dragging its feet on her claim, hoping to wear her down.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office didn't initially respond to requests for comment.
DeJac Peters was convicted in 1994 of strangling her 13-year-old daughter, Crystallynn Girard, in their Buffalo home. Her second-degree murder conviction was overturned in 2007 on the basis of DNA evidence.
(CBS/AP) TOLEDO, Ohio - A murder-suicide that left three children dead was orchestrated by their grandmother and uncle, whose bodies were found along with the youngsters in the garage of an Ohio home, police said Tuesday.
They say letters found at the scene revealed that the tragic incident occurred amid a disagreement over who should care for the children.
Firefighters on Monday used a sledgehammer to force open a barricaded door to the garage. This is where a truck was running with hoses leading from the exhaust in to the car that contained the bodies, police said.
The family members were identified as 54-year-old Sandy Ford, her 32-year-old son, Andy Ford, and her grandchildren, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, 6-year-old Logan Hayes and 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes.
Investigators said the relatives may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Two dogs and a cat also were found dead.
As Belizean police combed the property of expat antivirus pioneer John McAfee Sunday afternoon, McAfee was closer than they could have known. He’d seen them coming, and says he hid — burying himself in the sand with a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe. “It was extraordinarily uncomfortable,” he says, in an exclusive interview with Wired. “But they will kill me if they find me.”
McAfee, 67, is the prime suspect in a murder discovered Sunday morning in Belize. Convinced that he’ll be killed if he’s taken into custody for questioning, the millionaire antivirus pioneer has gone into hiding somewhere in the Central American nation, where he moved in 2008 to retire. Starting at 10:30 this morning, Belize time, he has been calling to tell me his side of the story.
The homicide victim is McAfee’s neighbor, Gregory Faull, a 52-year-old American expatriate, who, like McAfee, lives on Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize. According to police, Faull was found face up in a pool of blood with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head. Authorities found a single Luger brand 9mm expended shell at the scene.
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