Levi Aron, accused of the murder and dismemberment of 8-year old Leiby Kletzky from Boro Park, Brooklyn, on Thursday formally pleaded guilty to the charges against him. Aron, 36, murdered the youth after kidnapping him and holding him for at least a day.
Aron pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping, charges that carry a minimum 40 year sentence before he is elgible for parole. The sentence could be extended to life. Formal sentencing will take place at a later date.
Aron was brought into the courtroom chained, accompanied by three police officers. Aron, who had nor been considered particularly religious when he lived in Boro Park, was wearing a big black kippa during his court appearance, and appeared to be growing out his beard, witnesses said.
During the hearing, Levi spoke almost inaudibly, answering the judge's questions with short responses of only a few words. The hearing proceeded relatively quickly, because of the plea deal that resulted in Aron's confession.
Leiby Kletzky was murdered a year ago on his way home from school – the first time that his parents allowed him to walk home alone. Aron kidnapped the boy, triggering a community-wide manhunt in Boro Park. Levi's crime was uncovered as a result of footage taken by security cameras near where the boy was kidnapped.