The man accused of killing eight-year-old hassidic boy
Leiby Kletzky in New York
last month addressed what he referred to as “the incident” for the first time in
the media on Friday. “I don’t know what happened, I just panicked,” Levi Aron,
35, said.The New York Daily News
interviewed Aron, deemed by a court
fit to stand trial, at Riker’s Island Prison in New York. He faces
charges of kidnapping and first degree murder.RELATED:
Stunned hassidic community buries slain Brooklyn boy
Aron’s lawyer, Pierre
Bazile, said the evaluation merely permitted court procedures to continue and
that the defense team may still claim insanity.
The suspect has pleaded
According to the Daily News
report, Aron remained silent when
repeatedly asked if he wished to apologize for the murder, but nodded his head
at one point in response to the question.
Upon being asked why he
abducted and kept the boy, he answered, “He looked familiar. I thought I
Aron told police that he had meant to return the boy, but had
gotten scared when he saw missing-child posters.
answered, “I don’t know,” when asked by the Daily News
why he killed the boy or
what happened. “It hurts too much to think about it,” the paper quoted him as
Kletzky went missing on July 11 while walking home from a day
camp held at his school, Yeshiva Boyan Tiferes Mordechai Shlomo, in Brooklyn’s
Borough Park neighborhood.
Police and around 5,000 volunteers,
coordinated by the Brooklyn South Shomrim volunteer civilian patrol
organization, joined in a block-by-block search for him, including Jews from the
local community and from as far away as Queens, the Catskills, Monsey and
Kletzky had begged his parents to let him walk home from the
camp. His mother had waited for him at a predetermined point a few blocks away
at 50th Street and 13th Avenue.
The boy missed a turn upon leaving camp
and headed in the wrong direction.
Parts of his dismembered body were
found in the refrigerator of the suspect’s home on July 13.
the indictment, Aron abducted the boy who he happened to meet outside a
dentist’s office. He is believed to have killed and dismembered the boy in order
to hide the evidence.
Gil Shefler contributed to this report.