Huffpost Crime

Pedro Hernandez, Etan Patz Suspect, Wants Previous Suspect Jose Antonio Ramos As Trial Witness

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FILE- In this Nov. 15, 2012 file photo, Pedro Hernandez appears in Manhattan criminal court in New York. Hernandez, who is charged with killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979, is expected to plead not guilty Wednesday Dec. 12, 2012 to murder despite police saying he confessed to the crime. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, Pool) | AP

NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — The man charged with killing a 6-year-old New York City boy who vanished in 1979 is securing an unusual witness for his defense: a convicted Pennsylvania child molester who was long the prime suspect.

A judge in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. ordered Jose Antonio Ramos to appear at Pedro Hernandez' trial next year. The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre that's at the request of Hernandez' lawyer, Harvey Fishbein.

Hernandez is charged with killing Etan Patz (AY'-tahn PAYTS'). His disappearance helped mobilize a nationwide missing-children's movement.

Police said Hernandez admitted killing Etan. Fishbein says Hernandez made a false confession.

Ramos was never charged and has denied involvement in Etan's disappearance. But a civil court held Ramos responsible for the boy's death.

Ramos is currently jailed on a charge of violating sex-offender-registration requirements.

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