The suspected killer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky is set to plead guilty on August 9 to the crime in a plea bargain deal, a New York lawmaker said Wednesday. As part of the agreement, he will be sentenced to a prison term of 40 years-to-life for murdering the little Chassidic boy.
Leiby became lost on his way home from summer day camp in Brooklyn's Boro Park neighborhood last year. It was his first time walking home alone after camp – a privilege he had begged his parents to have. His mother waited for him at the halfway point, after having gone over the route with him repeatedly the night before. But he never made it, having made a wrong turn earlier on.
Accused killer Levi Aron, 36, confessed to kidnapping the boy when he stopped him to ask directions. He also confessed to killing him before dismembering his body and hiding the parts in his freezer and a suitcase thrown in a dumpster in Sunset Park.
NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the neighborhood and is close to the family, told reporters negotiations over the deal have been taking place for weeks.
"The last thing [the family] wanted was to have to live through the horror of those three days,” Hikind said, explaining why the Kletzky family supported the decision for a plea bargain with the accused killer.
Howard Greenberg, an attorney for Levi Aron, declined to comment – as did the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office – when reporters sought confirmation of the agreement. But a law enforcement official involvement in the investigation confirmed it.
Last month, Leiby's father filed a lawsuit against not only Levi Aron, but against his father Jack as well. After Aron kidnapped Leiby as he walked home from day camp, Levi Aron held him in an attic apartment in the family home. The lawsuit against Jack Aron charges him with maintaining “dangerous and deadly conditions” in the attic, and failing to prevent Leiby's kidnapping, or discover him after he was taken.