Levi Aron, a hardware store clerk, who murdered and dismembered an 8-year old Brooklyn boy last year, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison Wednesday.
Aron, 37, kidnapped Leiby Kletzky as he was walking in Borough Park, The NY Times reports. The 8-year old was on his way home. Aron then killed him and stuffed some of his remains in a suitcase, shocking not only the orthodox Jewish community where they both lived, but also the entire city of New York.
Aron declined to comment during his hearing, CBS New York reports. His lawyers have said he has expressed his remorse to them in private.
Aron pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder and kidnapping, the NY Daily News reports.
Leiby's parents agreed to the plea deal. A letter from his father, Nachman Kletzy was read to the court.
"A day doesn't pass without thinking of Leiby, but today we close the door on this one aspect of our tragedy," Nachman Kletzy wrote.
According to CBS New York, Levi Aron will be kept in private custody in jail.
"I think if he's not protected while he's in jail, he'll be murdered," Levi's attorney Howard Greenberg said at the hearing Wednesday. The judge agreed.
On July 11, 2011, Levi Aron kidnapped Leiby and took him to a wedding in Rockland County, The New York Times reports. He then took him to his attic apartment in Kensington, Brooklyn.
Thousands of Leiby's neighbors began searching for him, and total panic set in for Mr. Aron. He suffocated Leiby and chopped him up. Parts of the boy's body were put in Aron's freezer. Others were put in a suitcase, which was then thrown in a dumpster a few miles away.
In an attempt to explain his client's actions, attorney Howard Greenberg told the court that schizophrenia ran in Mr. Aron's family. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury at a young age, The New York Times reports.
"He should have been treated for mental illness," Greenberg said according to CBS New York.