Suspect in killing of 8-year-old New York boy is insane, defense says

Remains of  Leiby Kletzky, 8, were found in the freezer at the home of Levi Aron, police say.

Story highlights

  • Leiby Kletzky was drugged, smothered and dismembered, police say
  • Police say they found remains in the suspect's freezer and in a trash bin
  • Suspect Levi Aron was deemed mentally competent to stand trial in August
  • But his lawyer says an insanity defense will be pursued for the Brooklyn man
An insanity defense will be pursued for the Brooklyn man accused of kidnapping and brutally murdering 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, according to the suspect's attorney.
Defense attorney Howard Greenberg said he hopes to prove that his client, Levi Aron, is not guilty by reason of insanity -- despite Aron previously being ruled fit for trial. Aron has said that he hears voices and hallucinates, according to another lawyer who represented Aron at his arraignment.
Greenberg says that his client, who has pleaded not guilty, was unaware of the gravity of the situation, and that this should be a simple case.
"Anyone who thirsts for Levi Aron's blood will be satisfied to know that if they find him guilty, he'll be spending the rest of his days in an asylum," Greenberg told CNN.
Greenberg added a confession by Aron to police was misleading. He said that authorities used language during questioning that confused his client, and that his written confession helps demonstrate his insanity.
Greenberg also said that police did not properly record the interrogation, claiming that the video recording did not begin from the start of the questioning, and that Aron was "out of it" after being arrested.
"During police questioning, my client had recognition of the subject matter but he couldn't recall the events he was being accused of," Greenberg says.
Authorities say that Aron, 35, kidnapped Kletzky on July 11 after the boy asked him for directions on the sidewalk. Aron then allegedly drugged, smothered, and dismembered Kletzky.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in July that Aron told authorities he was sorry for the trouble he caused. Statements made by the suspect indicated he kidnapped Leiby and, as the neighborhood search for the boy intensified, he panicked and killed him, Kelly said.
Police arrested Aron on July 13 after finding bloodied knives in his apartment and Kletzky's remains in his freezer.
Aron has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and murder charges, and is currently being held at Rikers Island, the city's jail complex. The case is currently in a "discovery phase" and the prosecution and defense will exchange findings at the next court date, scheduled for December 21.
Greenberg added, "Equal justice is equal, for people you love and for people you despise."