On Thursday, Levi Aron, 36, a Brooklyn man, pleaded guilty to murdering eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, an orthodox Jewish boy, who had lost his way in the Hasidic neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Aron had faced life in prison after being charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, but reached a plea deal with prosecutors to reduce the sentence to 40 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
Aron acknowledged kidnapping the boy and panicking after he saw missing child flyers. Then he drugged the boy, and suffocated him with a towel. He then dismembered the body, put some parts in a freezer and disposed of other body parts in a dumpster.
Leiby met Aron when Leiby was allowed to walk home alone for the first time from a religious camp. He met Aron on the street, asked him for directions, and told him that he was lost. After that, Aron took over.
Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jewish state assemblyman, who served as a spokesman for the family of the victim said that the boy’s family had agreed to the plea deal in order to avoid reliving the crime through a trial. The boy’s father Nachman Kletzky said in a statement, “A day doesn’t pass without thinking of Leiby, but today we close the door on this one aspect of our tragedy … Closure does not mean we don’t continue to feel the pain.”
District Attorney Charles Hynes said, “No one should ever forget what happened to Leiby Kletzky but we can all take solace that Levi Aron would never, ever be able to hurt anyone again.” Aron’s lawyer said the killer was full of remorse, “He came in today to admit his guilt and to take responsibility for his actions … He’s very remorseful in his own way.”