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Judge Sets Date For New Trial In Kidnap, Murder Of Etan Patz

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A judge has set the date for a new trial of the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Etan Patz.

Jury selection will begin on Feb. 22, 2016. The re-trial is expected to begin in March.

Back in May, the previous trial of Pedro Hernandez ended in a hung jury. Eleven jurors voted to convict, one juror held out saying Hernandez couldn't be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Judge Sets Date For New Trial In Kidnap, Murder Of Etan Patz

Jurors spent 18 days and more than 100 hours discussing the case.

Patz disappeared in 1979.

Hernandez confessed to killing the boy in SoHo, saying he lured Patz into a bodega basement and strangled him.

Hernandez remains in custody awaiting the retrial. During court proceedings Monday, his defense attorney objected to the prosecution's request to delay the retrial start date from December to February. The prosecution sought the delay because a new prosecutor will be responsible for handling the case, and requested additional time to prepare. The prosecutor in the previous case, Joan Illuzzi Orbon, resigned from the District Attorney's office to run for Staten Island DA.

"We wanted to get this case moving earlier, we don't understand why it has to be delayed so long," defense attorney Harvey Fishbein told reporters outside the court. "We're very confident in our case."

Etan Patz's father sat in the courtroom Monday with three jurors from the first trial. Stan Patz declined comment, but former juror Joan Brooks explained why she was there.

"To support the new ADA and to support the Patzs, and to find justice for Etan," she told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell. "This is all part of our lives now and we want to see it through."

After the previous mistrial, Stan Patz spoke out about his anger and disappointment over the jury's inability to reach a verdict.

"This man did it," Stan Patz said. "How many times does a man have to confess before you believe him?"

Hernandez's defense team maintained their client made up the story due to mental illness.

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