Unbearable pain

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

August 9, 2012 1:29:39 PM PDT
No real surprise that Nachman and Esther Kletzky weren't in court today. They chose not to attend the plea-deal hearing of the man who kidnapped, suffocated and dismembered their 8-year-old son, Leiby.

Hard to blame them. The highly religious family from Brooklyn has suffered a pain we can't really imagine. And because of their strict religious beliefs, they haven't followed the news over the past year about how their only son was killed. They don't have a phone or Internet or a television.

I visited the Kletzky's apartment last year, while they were sitting Shi'va, the Jewish mourning period. Their sorrow was abundant, and yet through it all, the family took comfort in the outpouring of support from around New York and indeed the country.

Today, Levi Aaron pleaded guilty to Leiby's murder. He'll be sentenced to at least 40 years later this month. The deal was reached in consultation with the Kletzky family, and they released a statement. Painful - doesn't begin to describe it.

Here it is:

"There is no way one can comprehend or understand the pain of losing a child. Esther and I faced this unspeakable tragedy last year when our little boy Leiby was ruthlessly taken from us. Today my family has finally received some partial closure on one aspect of this nightmare. Closure does not mean we don't continue to feel the pain. A day doesn't pass without our thinking of Leiby - but today we close the door on this one aspect of our tragedy and seek to remember only the gifts that God has bestowed, including the nine years Leiby was with us. May our son's soul rest in peace and continue to advocate in Heaven for all mankind."

We'll have the latest on the deal, and reaction, tonight at 11.

We're also following the search for the man who shot a New York cop last night in Brooklyn. Sgt. Craig Bier was hit in both legs - with one bullet - but he'll be ok. Now - a full-court-press to find the shooter.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Amy Freeze (in for Lee) with her AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Diana Williams (in for Sade) and me, tonight at 11.


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