NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for a New Jersey man accused of strangling 6-year-old Etan Patz (AY’-tahn payts) in New York City in 1979 says his client is mentally ill and has a history of hallucinations.
Pedro Hernandez was arraigned on a murder charge Friday, the 33rd anniversary of the boy’s disappearance. He has been held without bail.
The 51-year-old Hernandez appeared in court via video camera from a conference room at Bellevue Hospital, where he was admitted after making comments about wanting to kill himself.
Court-appointed lawyer Harvey Fishbein told the judge Hernandez is bipolar and schizophrenic.
He didn’t enter a plea. A judge ordered a psychological examination.
Hernandez was arrested Thursday after telling police he strangled Etan in 1979, when he was an 18-year-old stock boy at a convenience store where the boy waited for his school bus.