Defendant Lee Evans is representing himself in state Superior Court in Newark. The trial began late last month and was in recess last week.
Jurors have yet to hear from the state's primary witness. Philander Hampton, Evans' cousin.
Hampton told police three years ago that he and Evans lured the youths to an abandoned building in the summer of 1978 by promising them work. They then allegedly burned the house down with the five inside.
Evans and Hampton were arrested last year.
The case was cold for years because it was initially treated as a missing persons case and not connected to the fire. The bodies were never recovered.