The crime was so unimaginably gruesome—an 8-year-old walking home from day camp is abducted by a stranger, then murdered and dismembered—that the child’s parents were too devastated to attend his funeral. That was last summer. Now a year later, the man responsible for depriving young Leiby Kletzky of a life and future has learned his own fate.
On Wednesday Levi Aron was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. In a video report, the New York Post notes that the 36-year-old Aron displayed little emotion in Brooklyn Supreme Court, where Judge Neil Firetog pronounced the sentence.
The terms of the sentence were brokered by his attorney in a plea deal three weeks ago, during which Aron agreed to allocate—to make a statement before the judge that provided the intimate details of the crime and his involvement. In his allocution, Aron admitted to abducting the child on July 11, 2011 as he walked to his home in the largely orthodox Jewish Borough Park section of Brooklyn. After smothering the boy, Aron told the judge, he hacked up his body and stored several parts in a home freezer.
Nachman and Esther Kletzky, the child’s parents, stayed away from the sentencing and refused further comment, allowing a statement that they issued after Aron’s guilty plea to speak for itself.
“They feel that justice has been done,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a family friend. Hikind added:
Every time the story appears, it brings them back to the day it happened.
It’s incredibly painful, incredibly difficult, so hopefully now the spotlight will move on and that’s what they want.
Aron’s lawyer, Howard Greenberg, urged officials to place his client in protective custody in prison, stating, “If he’s not put in private custody while he’s in jail he’ll be murdered.”
Then the attorney added, in an almost laughably ironic twist, “There’s a lot of sick and demented people in jail, so I worry for his life. His sentence is 40 years—not death.”
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