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The Yeshiva News
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
FIRST REPORT 11:45AM EST: The NYC Medical Examiner has added another drug to the list of those given by Levi Aron, before murdering 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky A”H.
Results from tests taken just after the murder have returned this morning, and reveal that the drug “Duloxetine” was given to Leiby, in addition to the previous four drugs which were released in the indictment. (SSRI Stories Ed: these were obviously drugs prescribed to Aron)
Duloxetine is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder, and also goes by the name “Cymbalta”.
The blood tests which showed this new information were sent to an outside lab, and takes a few weeks to get results.
Leiby’s cause of death, according to the Medical Examiner, was intoxication followed by smothering. Some of the earlier drugs which authorities said were given include: Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant; quetiapine, an anti-psychotic drug; and hydrocodone.
Once again, the Medical Examiner showed extreme sensitivity in releasing this information. They attempted to reach the family and inform them of this development before it became public information, but were unable to contact them – since it is Tisha B’av morning. They in turn reached out to the Misaskim Organization who contacted the family in a very sensitive manner.
To donate to the Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund, click here.
To donate to the Sefer Torah being written in memory of Leiby Kletzy, click here.
(Dov Gordon – YWN)
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New York Times
Man Who Killed and Dismembered a Lost Boy, 8, Gets 40 Years to Life
By C. J. HUGHES
Published: August 29, 2012
A hardware store clerk who killed and dismembered an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy in 2011, stunning both the close-knit Orthodox Jewish community where they lived and the city, was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years to life in prison.
Levi Aron, 37, who kidnapped Leiby Kletzky as he walked home on a summer day in Borough Park before killing him and stuffing some of his remains in a suitcase, barely spoke during the brief proceeding in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
When asked by Justice Neil J. Firetog to comment before being sentenced, Mr. Aron, who sat slumped in an orange prison jumpsuit, a skullcap atop his head, whispered a “no” that was barely audible in the courtroom.
Mr. Aron, who has a history of mental illness, had faced the possibility of a life sentence. But under a deal worked out with the district attorney’s office this month, Mr. Aron pleaded guilty to one charge of second-degree murder and one charge of second-degree kidnapping, which carry lighter sentences.
The plea, on Aug. 9, also came after psychological tests concluded that Mr. Aron’s mental problems would not qualify him for an insanity defense.
Leiby’s parents, Nachman and Esther, wanted to avoid a trial that would have forced them to relive details of the grisly killing, said Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman from Borough Park who has been the family’s spokesman.
As it is, the Kletzkys, who did not attend Wednesday’s hearing, have enough pain to contend with on a daily basis, Mr. Hikind said after the sentencing.
“There’s someone not coming home from school; there’s someone not at the Shabbos table,” he said, referring to the religion-tinged weekend meals that are a tradition among observant Jews.
“There’s someone missing there,” Mr. Hikind said, “so the last thing they wanted was to go through this for a week, or two, or three weeks.”
Mr. Hikind also forcefully played down the possibility that Mr. Aron could be released from prison in 2052, when he is up for parole. No parole board that considers the outrageousness of Mr. Aron’s crimes, which also included stashing cutup body pieces in a freezer, would ever let him out, Mr. Hikind said.
Although Mr. Aron may not have publicly apologized for killing Leiby, he has expressed remorse in private, according to Pierre Bazile, one of his lawyers. “He said he’s sorry and that he wishes that he hadn’t done this,” Mr. Bazile said after the court hearing.
Lawyers for Mr. Aron, who has been held in a cell for 23 hours a day on Rikers Island, have requested that he also be held in solitary confinement in prison, to protect him from other inmates. “There are a lot of sick, demented people that reside in the jails,” Howard Greenberg, another of his lawyers, said after the hearing.
Suggesting an explanation for his client’s actions, Mr. Greenberg added that Mr. Aron’s family had a history of schizophrenia, and Mr. Aron suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was young.
On July 11, 2011, Leiby’s parents allowed him to walk partway home from a day camp, all alone, for the first time. But he got lost along the seven-block route, prompting him to ask Mr. Aron for directions.
Instead, Mr. Aron kidnapped Leiby and drove him to a wedding in Rockland County, and later brought him to his attic apartment in Kensington, Brooklyn.
After Leiby’s abduction, thousands of neighbors took to the streets to try to find him, in a missing-child case that shocked a Hasidic community known for being insular and largely safe. At the same time, the missing-child case recalled an earlier, more dangerous era in New York City, when many children were forbidden to walk by themselves.
As the search intensified, Mr. Aron panicked, according to testimony, and suffocated the boy before chopping him up. Some pieces ended up in Mr. Aron’s freezer; others were stuffed in the suitcase, which was thrown in a Dumpster a few miles away.
Video from surveillance cameras eventually led the police to Mr. Aron.
On Wednesday, the prosecutor, Julie Rendelman, condemned those actions, which snuffed out a life way too soon, she said.
Mr. Aron “made a choice on that day,” Ms. Rendelman said. “He could have let Leiby go. Let him live, let him become a man, marry one day, raise a family. But that was not his choice.”