Etan Patz – The Face on the Milk Carton: Charges
Hernandez is charged with homicide in the second degree for the killing of Etan Patz. A “murder 2” charge is generally used in cases where the physical evidence is lacking, even though from a legal perspective, “murder 2” is what is known as a crime of passion killing as opposed to a deliberate, premeditated “murder 1.” In this case there is no body, no DNA evidence, no forensic evidence of any kind and no corroborating evidence, so the Manhattan District Attorney is charging based on Hernandez’s statements alone.
Given that the Manhattan DA’s office was only recently under fire for its mishandling of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case (wherein the president of the International Monetary Fund was charged with sexual assault based on the statement of a witness with credibility problems) it’s clear that the office wants to proceed cautiously with another high profile case.
On November 12, 2012, a grand jury in New York County formally indicted Hernandez on two charges of second degree murder and one charge of first degree kidnapping:
– Murder in the Second Degree in violation of Penal Law §125.25(1) for intentionally causing the death of Etan Patz.
– Murder in the Second Degree in violation of Penal Law §125.25(3) for causing the death of Etan Patz in furtherance of committing the crime of kidnapping.
– Kidnapping in the First Degree in violation of Penal Law §135.25(3) for abducting Etan Patz on or around May 25, 1979.