Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has vowed to pursue “swift justice” for the murderer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky.
The little boy was kidnapped from a Borough Park neighborhood street on July 11 when he asked a man for directions while walking alone from day camp for the first time. He was to meet his mother only three blocks away.
Instead, young Leiby was taken by a man who has confessed to having kidnapped him, smothered him to death and then dismembered his body – after first having allegedly taken him in the evening to a wedding 40 miles away.
The little boy's remains were found two days later – some in 35-year-old Levi Aron's freezer, and the rest in a black plastic bag that was stuffed into a red suitcase found in a dumpster two miles from Aron's apartment in Kensington.
The suspect, who says he hears voices and hallucinates, is being held in the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric unit in Manhattan. His attorneys said after interviewing him at the hospital that he appeared to be “abnormal” but revealed little else. It is believed the lawyers are considering an insanity defense for Aron, who has pleaded “not guilty” to all charges.
The grand jury is expected to decide today (Wednesday July 20) whether to indict the accused killer, who has already confessed to the murder – and in whose home at least some of the bloody body parts were found.
Hynes vowed Tuesday that he would stop at nothing to ensure that the suspected murderer would be convicted in Leiby's death, dismissing suggestions that an insanity defense might carry some weight.
“Sometimes I wonder about what goes through defense lawyers' minds,” Hynes told reporters after visiting Leiby's parents to offer his condolences during the traditional 7-day Jewish shiva mourning ritual.
After his 20-minute visit, Hynes commented, “I've got 16 grandchildren. Four are the age of Leiby.”
Thousands of people have flooded into the family's small apartment to pay their respects to Leiby's parents and siblings, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the young boy's favorite vocalist.
In response to the horrific murder, Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park) is set to propose a new measure today (Wednesday July 20) designed to create “safe havens” on the street for children.
Participating businesses would conduct comprehensive background checks of their employees as a result of “Leiby's Law.” The businesses would then be allowed to put “Safe Haven” stickers in their windows to let children know that they can come to them if they need help for any reason.