Opening arguments are set to start Friday in a 35 year old case involving the disappearance and alleged murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz.
Pedro Hernandez, 53, is on trial for the kidnapping and murder of Patz, who disappeared on May 25, 1979, while walking from his SoHo home to the bus stop. His body was never found, and he was declared legally dead in 2001.
Hernandez, who was a teenage stock clerk at the time Patz disappeared, confessed to luring Patz to the basement of the deli where he worked, then choking him and dumping the boy — still alive — in a box on the curb.
Defense lawyers maintain Hernandez is mentally ill, the confession was coerced, and a Pennsylvania man convicted of molesting children is the real killer.
Seven men and five women were selected as jurors from a pool of 700, the AP reported.