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Etan Patz Murder Suspect Could Face Trial Next Spring

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - A New York judge says the murder trial for a man accused of killing a 6-year-old boy who vanished in 1979 will likely be held next spring.

Pedro Hernandez appeared briefly in court on Wednesday. He was charged with murder in 2011 after he confessed to choking Etan Patz. The little boy was last seen on his way to a Manhattan school bus stop on May 25, 1979 when he disappeared.

Hernandez was a clerk at a convenience store near where the boy was last seen. The boy's body has never been found.

Etan Patz Murder Suspect Could Face Trial Next Spring

Hernandez was arrested in 2011 after police got a tip that he had told people that he had killed a child.

Hernandez's lawyer has said his client is schizophrenic and bipolar, and that his admission was false.

Lawyer Harvey Fishbein also complained that his client, who's been behind bars since May 2012 with no trial date set.

But the prosecutor said his incarceration hasn't been "overly long."

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