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New Yorker sentenced for murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
updated 6:21 PM EDT, Wed August 29, 2012
 Leiby Kletzky disappeared after walking back from summer camp in July 2011. Part of his body was later found in a freezer.
Leiby Kletzky disappeared after walking back from summer camp in July 2011. Part of his body was later found in a freezer.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: His attorney, Howard Greenberg, said he asked for protective custody for Aron
  • A judge accepted a plea deal earlier this month
  • The city's chief medical examiner said the boy died after being drugged and then smothered

New York (CNN) -- A New York hardware clerk who pleaded guilty to abducting, smothering and dismembering an 8-year-old boy was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years to life behind bars on charges of second degree murder and kidnapping in the second degree.

As part of a plea deal, Levi Aron will be eligible for parole after 40 years, though could serve life in prison.

Aron was accused of snatching Leiby Kletzky last summer from the Brooklyn boy's neighborhood.

His attorney, Howard Greenberg, said he asked for protective custody for Aron "because there are a lot of sick and demented people."

The "sentence was 40 years, not life."

The plea deal was announced in early August and at the time Aron's attorney, Jennifer L. McCann, said she was "glad we were able to come up with an amenable resolution that both sides agreed to."

Police say Leiby's dismembered body was found in Aron's freezer and inside a suitcase in a nearby trash bin.

New York City's chief medical examiner said the Brooklyn boy was drugged before he was slain.

The autopsy results for Leiby listed a cocktail of four prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the boy's system: cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant; quetiapine, an antipsychotic drug; hydrocodone, a pain medication; and acetaminophen, the drug in Tylenol.

Both Aron and Leiby were members of the borough's close-knit Orthodox Jewish community, although police say it doesn't appear that they knew each other.

Kletzky's family released a statement saying they have "finally received some partial closure on one aspect of this nightmare."

CNN's Yon Pomrenze contributed to this report

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