Court papers say a New Yorker accused in the dismemberment killing of an 8-year-old boy told detectives that he was hearing voices telling him "to take his own life for what he did."
The statement was disclosed following Levi Aron's arraignment Thursday. A plea of not guilty was entered for him.
- Receive Ynetnews updates directly
to your desktop
A defense attorney says the suspect has been found competent to stand trial. Jennifer McCann said outside court that the finding does not preclude an insanity defense.
Aron is charged with murdering Leiby Kletzky after the child got lost while walking home from day camp, asked for directions, and got into his car.
Levi Aron in court (Photo:AP)
Authorities say parts of Leiby's body were stuffed in a discarded suitcase and in Aron's refrigerator.
The suspect in the kidnapping, killing and dismemberment of an 8-year-old New York City boy has been found competent to stand trial, his defense lawyers said Thursday after he pleaded not guilty.
The finding was made after a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation for Levi Aron. The lawyers - who claim Aron has complained of hearing voices - said they plan to conduct their own exams to determine whether to still pursue an insanity defense.
Outraged members of the victim's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community "should allow the judicial process to take its course," one of the attorneys, Pierre Bazile, said outside court.
Bazile entered the not guilty plea for Aron, who did not speak at a brief arraignment in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. The defendant appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit with his hands cuffed in front.
Coming to grips
Leiby Kletzky got lost on his walk home from a religious day camp July 11 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 the boy'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.
Police and prosecutors said Aron, a Jewish hardware supply store clerk, 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.
Before the arraignment, State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the reporters that the community was still coming to grips with the gruesome slaying.
"The idea of an insanity defense is just not acceptable," Hikind said. "He planned and plotted this entire horror that he committed."
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook