Archive for August 6th, 2011

“LEVI ARON FIT TO STAND TRIAL SAY ATTORNEYS” By Fern Sidman

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

According to his defense attorneys, Levi Aron, the defendant charged with the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of 8-year old Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn on July 12th, is competent to stand trial. On Thursday morning, August 4th, a plea of not guilty was entered for Aron at an arraignment hearing in Brooklyn. Standing outside the courthouse, Aron’s attorney, 30-year old Jennifer McCann said the finding was determined subsequent to a psychiatric evaluation that took place at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.

Aron was placed on a suicide watch since his arrest on July 13th and attorneys have been launching an insanity defense; claiming that Aron manifests psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices and experiencing hallucinations. McCann said that the finding does not preclude them from going ahead with this line of defense.

Leiby Kletzky got lost on his walk home from the Boyaner day camp in Boro Park on July 11th and asked Aron, whom he met on the street, for help, prosecutors said. It was the first time the little boy was allowed to walk alone, and he was supposed to travel about seven blocks to meet his mother but missed a turn. About 33 hours later, detectives found Leiby’s severed feet, wrapped in plastic, in Aron’s freezer. A cutting board and three bloody carving knives were found in the refrigerator. The rest of the boy’s body was discovered in bags inside a red suitcase in a trash bin. His legs had been cut from his torso.

According to prosecutors, Aron, 35, a hardware supply stock clerk, said that he panicked upon seeing fliers about the boy’s disappearance plastered all over Boro Park and his own Kensington neighborhood, and confessed to suffocating Leiby with a bath towel, but they said they were continuing to work on verifying his horrific and bizarre explanation for the boy’s death. It remains unclear why Aron took the child in the first place. The medical examiner’s office said the boy was given a cocktail of psychotropic drugs and then smothered.

In a statement, Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, said, “Now that Mr. Aron has been found fit to proceed we will move forward expeditiously to bring his case to trial. I want to reaffirm that this case will go to trial and that there are absolutely no circumstances which would lead me to accept a plea bargain.” Mr. Aron’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 14, at which point Aron’s lawyers indicated that they will request a change of venue from Brooklyn. “He may not be able to get a fair trial in Brooklyn because the community’s rancor has been riled, it has been so stirred up against the defendant,” said Pierre Bazile, a member of Aron’s defense team.

According to a report filed by the New York Times, Ms. McCann drew gasps from the crowd when she told reporters that this case “was no different than the D.W.I.’s and the traffic tickets and the other murder cases,” she said. “They are defendants, they have rights and we are here to defend them.” Several members of the Hasidic observers questioned her on that point.

“Is it more emotional, more difficult because of the evidence?” she queried.. “Absolutely. This case isn’t easy for us to handle, either, but his rights are the same. When I defend those rights, I defend yours, too.” At the end of the news conference, one young Orthodox woman approached Ms. McCann. “Jennifer, do you have kids?” the woman asked. Ms. McCann said she did not want to comment.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.