Suspect in murder of Brooklyn boy deemed fit for trial

August 4, 2011 9:11:14 AM PDT
The man accused of kidnapping and brutally murdering an 8-year-old boy in Brooklyn has been found competent to stand trial, a defense lawyer said Thursday.

Levi Aron pleaded not guilty in the death of Leiby Kletzky. He allegedly drugged Kletzky before smothering him with a bath towel and dismembering the body.

The child's feet were found in Aron's apartment freezer in Kensington. The rest of the body was found in a suitcase tossed into a dumpster in Greenwood Heights.

Police say Aron confessed, but he then pleaded not guilty at last month's initial arraignment. That's when his lawyers said he is delusional and hears voices.

It was a claim that set off weeks of psychological evaluations in the hopes of an insanity defense, which the defense attorney Jennifer McCann said was still a possibility. The defense reportedly also wants to ask for a change of venue to get the trial away from Brooklyn, where they say the pool of potential jurors has been tainted.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has said that this is the most horrific homicide of his career, and he believes Aron deserves the maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Kletzky was abducted after he got lost on the way home from day camp on July 11. He was supposed to walk seven blocks to meet his mother, but he missed his turn and reportedly asked Aron for help.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind had asked the Borough Park community of turn out for the court appearance.