NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Accused child killer Levi Aron will be asked to enter a plea Thursday in connection with the murder of Leiby Kletzky.
It’s been three weeks since the 8-year-old boy’s dismembered body was discovered. The young victim’s Borough Park neighborhood is still reeling from the loss, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.
The veneer of normalcy is paper thin on the street where the murdered child lived. The abduction and killing of Kletzky has Borough Park so wounded, families have vowed never to speak of it again — only to break the vow. Husbands notice their wives lighting extra candles on the Sabbath.
“I said ‘why you put one candle more?'” Shlomo Landesman said, recounting a conversation with his wife. She answered him, “for Leiby Kletzky.”
“Everybody says ‘we’re not going to talk about it’, but how can you not talk about it? How can you not talk about a tragedy that has affected every single family,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind said.
In court on Thursday Aron’s lawyers will received the state’s psychiatric evaluation, which could pave the way for an insanity defense. Some residents said they will focus their attention on Aron by packing the courtroom, but others said they would grapple with what his alleged crime has done to their sense of security.
“They are broken, themselves. They’re not thinking much about this killer. The problem is ourselves — to be safe. Our kids to be safe,” Israel Rosenberg said.
The Kletzkys have moved away from the home where they sat Shiva for Leiby. The community, shocked by their poverty and the fact that eight people lived in a two bedroom apartment, helped them find another place nearby.
The family is being protected and they will not be at the arraignment Thursday. The victim’s mother still doesn’t know all the details of her son’s murder, Young reported.
Aron is charged with first-degree murder. Since his arrest he’s been undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital.
Aron’s lawyers warned the legal process for the case, whether it goes to trial or not, could easily last a year or more.
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