Suspect in Kletzky killing arraigned

August 5, 2011 Heather Chin
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Levi Aron, the man accused of kidnapping and murderingeight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, was declared fit to stand trial athis arraignment on Thursday morning, August 4, at Kings CountySupreme Court.

The determination is the result of a psychological evaluationreleased that day from Bellevue Hospital, where Aron has been heldsince being arrested on July 13 at his apartment in Kensington,Brooklyn.

Aron’s lawyers maintain that the evaluation means only thattheir client understands the nature of the charges against him, notthat he is considered sane. They have said that Aron hears voicesand that they believe him to have some psychiatric disorders.

It is not a rendering on sanity or insanity, said his defenseteam, Pierre Bazile and Jennifer L. McCann. It is only oncompetency.

Nevertheless, many Brooklynites are relieved that the case cannow move forward.

Now that Mr. Aron has been found fit to proceed, we will moveforward expeditiously to bring his case to trial, said KingsCounty District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. I want to reaffirm thatthis case will go to trial and that there are absolutely nocircumstances which would lead me to accept a plea bargain.

The 35-year-old was indicted last month on eight charges: twocounts of murder in the first degree, three counts of murder in thesecond degree, two counts of kidnapping in the first degree and onecount of kidnapping in the second degree. If convicted, he faces amaximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

Dozens of Brooklyn residents – including many from Boro Park,where Kletzky lived — filled the room at Kings County SupremeCourt to listen to the competency declaration, for their own peaceof mind as well as to show their continued support for the Kletzkyfamily, who are said to have moved out of the two-bedroom apartmentthat their son grew up in.

Countless people of all races, ethnicities, cultures andreligions banded together in an … outpouring of support for Leibyand his family [and] it is only fitting for us to maintain the samelevel of solidarity and appear at Levi Aron’s arraignment, saidAssemblymember Dov Hikind, who represents Boro Park. Levi Aronmust be held accountable for his unconscionable actions if Leiby’sfamily and his community are to ever attain even a modicum of peaceand healing.

Kletzky disappeared while walking home from his day camp in BoroPark on July 11 and was found two days later in Aron’srefrigerator-freezer and in a dumpster in Greenwood Heights.

Aron’s next court date is on October 14.

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