Thursday, August 02, 2012

Levi Aron to plead guilty in Brooklyn boy Leiby Kletzky's slaying, faces life sentence 

A man accused of abducting and dismembering an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy who got lost on the way home from camp has agreed to avoid trial by pleading guilty to murder charges, according to a state lawmaker.

Levi Aron is expected to enter the plea as part of a deal that would result in a life sentence, state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said Wednesday.

Prosecutors struck the deal in close consultation with the family of the boy, Leiby Kletzky, the assemblyman said. The boy's disappearance and horrific death in July of last year stunned his tight-knit Hasidic community in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, an area represented by Hikind.

The local Hasidic community in New Square also was touched by the tragic event as Aron, 36, attended his cousin's wedding in the village on July 11, 2011, just hours after Leiby went missing.

It's since been speculated that the boy may have been locked in Aron's car, which was parked in the parking lot of a catering hall off Route 45.

"The Kletzky family would very much like to avoid a trial and to relive the tragedy," Hikind said. "It's way too painful."

Leiby had been returning home from a religious camp the day he went missing, the first day he had been allowed to walk home by himself. Police have said he got lost on the way home and turned to Aron, a twice-divorced store clerk, for help.

Aron, who was not known to most guests at the Ateres Charna wedding hall in New Square, would later tell police that he took Leiby to the wedding before returning to Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office declined to comment Wednesday and a phone message left with Aron's attorney was not returned.


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