Friday, August 05, 2011

Accused Child Killer Levi Aron's Confession: "I'm Famous" 

Levi Aron Confession

Yesterday, the man who confessed to killing and dismembering 8-year-old Hasidic boy Leiby Kletzky last month was found mentally competent to stand trial. Levi Aron pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping charges during his arraignment in Brooklyn Supreme Court. His next court appearance will come on October 14, and his lawyers will be scrambling to determine whether they can still pursue an insanity defense, which is an extremely rare defense strategy for a felony case. But then again,"no other defense comes to mind” in this case, said Deborah W. Denno, a professor at Fordham University.

Brooklyn district attorney Charles J. Hynes told reports yesterday that he remained committed to prosecuting the case to his fullest extent: “I want to reaffirm that this case will go to trial and that there are absolutely no circumstances which would lead me to accept a plea bargain.” Aron's lawyer Pierre Bazile noted that “we believe him to have some psychiatric disorders” and said that the court-ordered psychological exam found that Aron had been hearing voices and “telling him to take his own life for what he did.”

New court records were revealed during his arraignment yesterday, shedding more light onto Aron's troubled state of mind, as well as more details on his written and videotaped confession. An edited version of that confession was released to the public in the immediate aftermath of his arrest last month. The parts which had been edited out include graphic, cold, procedural descriptions of Aron suffocating and then dismembering Leiby.

It's important to note that Aron left out any mention of the fact that Leiby had been heavily drugged, forced to swallow "an overdose of muscle relaxant, antipsychotics, pain medication and acetaminophen" before he was smothered; nor is there any mention of Leiby being tied up before his death.

After he was arrested, Aron chillingly quipped to police, "I'm famous;" at least one of his ex-wives alleged that Aron was obsessed with American Idol and becoming famous in some way: "For him, the meeting of this little poor boy was a chance to shine into media and make himself known." When a female detective gave him a cigarette, Aron said, “This is a first. A woman holding my cigarette.” He also vacillated between the banal choice of a meal from McDonald's or Chinese food after his arrest; he ended up having Chinese food.

Aron was also seemingly disgusted when an officer asked him whether he sexually abused Leiby: "I don't swing that way," he said. As for his mental state, Aron wrote in the confession that “maybe this is wrong,” and said he "was sorry for the hurt [he] caused." Michele Galietta, the director of the clinical forensic doctoral program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, makes an understatement when she points out, “He did show remorse, but it was a little odd...It shows oddness in thinking.”


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