NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man who admitted to kidnapping, killing, and dismembering an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy was sentenced Wednesday.
Aron, 36, will be eligible for parole in 40 years.
Aron declined to make a statement during the hearing, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported. His attorneys said his remorse has only been expressed to them in private.
“No matter how many times he says he’s sorry [it] is only going to seem insincere or never going to be enough. So at this time, he’s chosen not to make a statement because it will never have the weight that he needs it to have,” said Defense Attorney Jennifer McCann.
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Aron pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping earlier this month.
“With this guilty plea, I hope the process of healing and hopefully closure can begin for the Kletzky family and community,” District Attorney Charles Hynes said in a statement at the time of Aron’s plea. “No one should ever forget what happened to Leiby Kletzky but we can all take solace that Levi Aron will never, ever be able to hurt anyone again.”
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At Wednesday’s hearing, the judge agreed to put Aron in protective custody.
“I think if he’s not protected while he’s in jail he’ll be murdered,” attorney Howard Greenberg said.
Aron admitted to kidnapping Kletzky from his neighborhood in the Kensington section of Borough Park on July 11, 2011, taking the boy to a wedding in Rockland County and then back to his apartment.
There, he gave the boy a toxic mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs before smothering him with a towel.
Aron then butchered the boy’s body, hiding part of it in his freezer, prosecutors said. Aron said he put the rest of the remains in a suitcase and brought them to a dumpster.
Police said Aron killed Kletzky because he panicked after seeing flyers of the missing 8-year-old around the neighborhood.
Greenburg painted Aron as helpless young man whose troubles fell through the cracks. “He should have been treated for mental illness,” said Greenburg.
Aron had originally pleaded not guilty in the case, but State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said the Kletzky family agreed to the plea deal so as not to hear the gruesome details of their son’s death in court.
“They didn’t want to have to go through a trial just because I think anyone can imagine to have to listen to the horror, to have to listen to the details,” Hikind said.
“There’s someone not at the Shabbas table. There’s someone missing there. So the last thing they wanted was to have to go through this for a week or two or three weeks,” Hikind added.
After the guilty plea, Hikind read a statement from the Kletzky family, thanking the District Attorney ”for bringing this to a quick resolution as we requested, for not forcing us to relive the terror that began when Leiby went missing.”
Leiby’s family did not attend Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
Aron now faces a pending civil suit filed by the Kletzky family.
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