NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A grand jury has indicted Levi Aron and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder in the case of Leiby Kletzky, the Brooklyn boy whose remains were found last Wednesday.
Aron faces up to life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes announced early Wednesday evening. Aron’s arraignment is scheduled for July 28.
The eight-count indictment also includes a first-degree kidnapping charge.
The Brooklyn DA Hopes The Indictment Brings Some Closure. 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Reports.
Leiby’s death has been ruled a homicide and, according to the Medical Examiner. He was killed from intoxication followed by smothering.
Hynes said that Kletzky was given Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant; quetiapine, an anti-psychotic drug; and hydrocodone before Aron used a towel to smother the child.
However, Hynes said that “there’s no evidence of sexual abuse.” There were also marks on young Kletzky’s wrist, evidence that he was tied up in the hours before he was killed and his body was dismembered, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell With More Details On The Indictment
Police also confirmed that they found a variety of pills in Aron’s apartment.
Police have confirmed that last Monday night, Aron drove young Kletzky to upstate Monsey, where he attended a wedding while the boy stayed in the car. Then they went back to Brooklyn, authorities said. The boy stayed in Aron’s apartment Monday night and all day Tuesday while Aron went to work.
Chief Police Spokesman Paul Browne said Kletzky was killed either late last Tuesday afternoon or early Tuesday evening. That means the boy was likely alive for about a day after he disappeared.
Investigators spent a week straight at Aron’s home in Kensington, pulling out every piece of evidence imaginable, even digging up the backyard. Crime scene detectives will still be at Aron’s home removing evidence for the next couple of days, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reported.
CBS 2 has learned some of the boxes removed from Aron’s home contained a sizable quantity of other children’s clothing. Police will also be digging up Aron’s backyard again to see if there is anything that leads to other missing children.
Police said Kletzky got lost last Monday going to meet his mother after leaving day camp and asked Aron for help. Detectives later found the boy’s severed feet in Aron’s freezer along with three bloody carving knives and a cutting board.
The rest of the boy’s body was found wrapped in a plastic bag stuffed inside in a suitcase in a dumpster in Sunset Park.
Aron is being held in a psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital under tight security. His attorneys met with him for about two and a half hours on Tuesday and said their focus is on their client’s mental state. They are also seemingly already laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.
“All we can say at this time without going into specifics upon talking to him for quite some time is that there’s a severe diminished capacity,” said Gerard Marrone, one of Aron’s defense attorneys.
Marrone said his client still hears voices, and is trying to use loud music to drown them out.
Members of the Jewish community from all corners of the city and across the country filled a synagogue in Borough Park for a memorial service.
“In Israel, we’re used to tragedy and people dying suddenly, but this was a big one. It really gets to you,” Dena Reifen told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“We were looking for a way to unite the community. And so this is extraordinary. Before we spoke to family and got their blessing and we hope this will not only inspire not only the family but also the Jewish and non-Jewish community,” organizer Benny Rogosnitzky said.
Wednesday also marked the last day Leiby’s family will sit Shiva. People have come from all across the country to pray with them.
“In the midst of cruelty and horror, human beings can respond in such a warm and caring way it restores our faith in the world and mankind. That is the atmosphere I feel here right now,” said Rabbi Alvin Kass.
Are you curious about what the indictment will say? Do you think Aron is insane? Sound off in our comments section below…