Friday, August 10, 2012
Leiby's Butcher Pleads Guilty
He’ll rot in prison before he burns in hell.
“Brooklyn Butcher” Levi Aron, who lured 9-year-old Leiby Kletzky into his sick lair last year before murdering him and chopping up the body, pleaded guilty yesterday in a deal that will likely send him to prison for life and spare the boy’s family the heartache of a trial.
Aron, 36, told a Brooklyn judge he killed the boy last summer after abducting him and panicking after the community launched a search for the boy — who had gotten lost after missing a turn on his first day walking home alone from day camp.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog peppered Aron with questions, drawing out the gruesome details of the murder.
In clipped, whispered answers, the former hardware-store clerk — clad in an orange prison jumpsuit and a yarmulke, his hands cuffed behind him — admitted he kidnapped the boy, tied him up and suffocated him with a towel.
Aron said Leiby fought back but he overpowered him.
Firetog asked Aron what he did next.
“I got rid of the body,” Aron said, describing how he chopped up Leiby and stuffed the body parts into a suitcase. Police found the boy’s feet in Aron’s freezer.
The crazed-looking killer told Firetog he picked up the boy at 18th Avenue and Dahill Road in Borough Park and drove him to Rockland County, then back to his Kensington apartment later that night.
In between, Aron attended a wedding in the Hasidic enclave of Monsey, Rockland County.
Upon their return, Aron said, he went to work, came home for lunch and went out again. While he was out, Aron saw fliers for the missing boy all over his neighborhood, even on his own street, and “panicked.”
Aron admitted he then gave the boy prescription drugs before tying him up and smothering him with a towel.
Under the plea deal, Aron will get 25 years to life in jail on the second-degree murder charge and an additional 15 years to life for second-degree kidnapping.
Even though Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes vowed after Aron’s arrest that there would be no plea bargain, his office relented at the request of Leiby’s parents.
“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,” Hynes said yesterday.
The boy’s parents, Nachman and Esther Kletzky, stayed away from the hearing. In a statement, the couple said they took comfort in not having to “relive the terror.”
“There is no way one can comprehend or understand the pain of losing a child,” Nachman Kletzky said. “Esther and I faced this unspeakable tragedy last year when our little boy Leiby was ruthlessly taken from us.
“Today my family has finally received some partial closure on one aspect of this nightmare. Closure does not mean we don’t continue to feel the pain.
“A day does not pass without our thinking of Leiby — but today we close the door on this one aspect of our tragedy and seek to remember only the gifts that God has bestowed, including the nine years Leiby was with us.
“May our son’s soul rest in peace and continue to advocate in Heaven for all mankind.”