Etan Patz mistrial: lone holdout juror says there wasn't enough evidence.

Holdout Juror in Etan Patz Case Says There Wasn’t Enough Evidence to Convict

Holdout Juror in Etan Patz Case Says There Wasn’t Enough Evidence to Convict

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May 9 2015 12:13 PM

Holdout Juror in Etan Patz Case Says There Wasn’t Enough Evidence to Convict

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Juror No. 11 Adam Sirois (L) admits that he was the lone holdout, as members of the jury from the Pedro Hernandez trial speak to the media at the state Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, May 8, 2015.

Reuters/Brendan McDermid

It seems things got heated in the jury room at the Etan Patz murder trial. A judge declared a mistrial Friday after the 12-person jury said it was deadlocked for a third time on the 18th day of deliberations. The jury of seven women and five men said on Friday that it couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether 54-year-old Pedro Hernandez killed 6-year-old Patz in 1979. Hernandez confessed to the crime in 2012, decades after the case made national news, with Patz’s face plastered on milk cartons across the country, notes CNN. “It awakened America,” said Ernie Allen, president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “It was the beginning of a missing children's movement.”

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A poster with the writing of the accused, Pedro Hernandez, is pictured in this undated evidence handout photo provided by defense attorney Alice Fontier.

Reuters/Defense attorney Alice Fontier/Handout

The lone holdout juror, Adam Sirois, told reporters he couldn’t shake off his reasonable doubt, particularly about Hernandez’s confession, which he called “bizarre.” He also raised concern about the way the police obtained that confession in the first place, reports NBC News. “For me, his confession was very bizarre,” Sirois said, according to the New York Times. “No matter how many times it happened, it got more and more bizarre.” Sirois also said there wasn’t enough evidence that wasn’t circumstantial to warrant a conviction.

Although Sirois said his fellow jurors “were very respectful of my position,” several expressed frustration after the trial was over. “We never want to see him again,” said juror Chris Gillberti, according to the New York Daily News. “He was delusional. He was totally irrational about everything.”

The judge has set June 10 as the date when lawyers from both sides will meet in court to discuss how to move forward with the retrial. Etan Patz’s father, Stanley Patz, made it clear the family has no doubt that Hernandez was the one who killed their 6-year-old son when he was walking alone for the first time to his bus stop in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. “We are frustrated and very disappointed that the jury has even unable to reach a decision,” Stanley Patz said, according to Reuters. “Our long ordeal is not over.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.