In pursuing an insanity defense, Attorney Howard Greenberg said that his client is from Borough Park, Brooklyn, where relationships between Hasidic relatives risk producing children with genetic defects.
"Look, everybody knows when blood relations have offspring, there can be genetic defects," Greenberg, who is Jewish said, according to newspaper reports from inside the courtroom. "It's something that needs to be investigated down to the ground."
Greenberg didn't stop there. Outside of the court he spoke to reporters and said, "He suffered a severe head injury as a young man. There's a history of schizophrenia. He adds, "There's inbreeding in that community," he said. "That's an aspect of his familial history."
The statements drew a sharp response from Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
"It seems as if Mr. Greenberg will stop at nothing in an effort to excuse the heinous crime his client perpetrated against innocent, eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky. It is outrageous that he has the audacity to insinuate that Levi Aron's crime is a result of "inbreeding" in the Jewish community. What an absolutely vile, disgusting, and wholly untrue remark. His comments are nothing more than an attempt to distract and confuse the public into thinking there is some merit to his ridiculous assertion. It's clear that Mr. Greenberg is scrambling to present any type of defense in the face of overwhelming and shocking evidence. Mr. Greenberg is a sick, self-hating Jew who is out of his mind. He is a disgrace to his profession and should be held in contempt not only by Judge Firetog, but by all of us."
Get Eyewitness News Delivered