Man accused in Patz case makes court appearance

Associated Press
FILE - In this May 2012 file photo obtained by The Associated Press, murder suspect Pedro Hernandez is shown.  Attorney Harvey Fishbein says Hernandez, 51, is being charged in the disappearance of Etan Patz. Hernandez, of Maple Shade, N.J., was arrested this year and investigators say he confessed. Patz's disappearance led to an intensive search and spawned a movement to publicize cases of missing children. His photo was among the first put on milk cartons, and his case turned May 25 into National Missing Children's Day.  (AP Photo)

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NEW YORK (AP) — The lawyer for a man charged with killing a New York City boy in 1979 says his client will plead not guilty because he made a false confession.

Pedro Hernandez was in court for a brief proceeding Thursday, where his next court date was set for Dec. 12. That's when he'll have a chance to enter a plea. Meanwhile, he's been held without bail.

Defense lawyer Harvey Fishbein says Hernandez is "fit to stand trial" and says his client's statements are "not reliable."

Hernandez was indicted Wednesday on murder and kidnapping charges, following a lengthy investigation after his May arrest.

Authorities say he admitted killing 6-year-old Etan Patz (AY'-tahn PAYTS).

Fishbein says Hernandez is schizophrenic and prone to hallucinations

The Manhattan district attorney's office says prosecutors don't believe Hernandez' confession is the product of mental illness.

Etan vanished while walking to his school bus stop. The anniversary of his disappearance — May 25 — became National Missing Children's Day.

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