Levi Aron, having pled guilty to the kidnapping, murder, and dismemberment of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Dressed in a yarmulke and prison jumpsuit, Aron showed little emotion while his sentence was being read. The ruling handed down by Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog was part of a plea deal which Aron accepted, a plan which spared the Borough Park, Brooklyn, family, the Kletzky’s the pain of a long trial.
Just three weeks ago, Aron (36) admitted to abducting Leiby on 11th July 2011, at 18th Avenue and Dahill Road. Leiby was on his way home from summer camp. This was the first time his mother had allowed the Hasidic Jewish boy to walk home by himself.
Aron admitted to drugging, smothering, and chopping up the boy’s body while his community searched the area. Leiby’s disappearance became a major media sensation and the close knit community immediately initiated an intense search for the child.
The murderer claimed that he panicked when he saw fliers of Leiby on the street. NBC reported that within 33 hours the police had found Leiby’s dismembered body.
Prosecutor Julie Rendelman said, “An innocent and angelic boy named Leiby Kletzky left his school and simply lost his way.
“If he had run into any normal person, he would have been safe.
“Levi Aron, taking advantage, chose not to make Leiby safe, chose not to take him home to his loving family.
“He made a choice that day. He could have let Leiby go, let him become a man and get married someday. He chose to take this boy’s life.”
Leiby’s parents, Nachman and Esther Kletzky, stayed away from the sentencing. However when they received Aron’s guilty plea they released a statement which read “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.”
Leiby was the family’s only son. They have five daughters and a source close to the family told the New York Post that Esther is expecting another child in two months.
Pierre Bazile, Aron’s lawyer, said he had expressed remorse.
He said “He says he’s sorry and he wishes he hadn’t done it.
“You’re not talking about a monster. You’re talking about a highly deranged person.
Another of Aron’s lawyers, Howard Greenberg, urged the authorities to isolate him in prison.
“If he’s not put in private custody while he’s in jail, he’ll be murdered,” Greenberg said.
“There’s a lot of sick and demented people in jail, so I worry for his life. His sentence is 40 years — not death.
Here’s NBC’s report on the sentencing:
Here’s an interview with the attorneys after the sentencing: