Thursday, August 4, 2011

Brooklyn Boy's Accused Killer Fit To Stand Trial; Pleads Not Guilty

The man accused of killing and dismembering an eight-year-old Brooklyn boy last month entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment this morning, where lawyers also confirmed he will stand trial.

Levi Aron, 35, appeared briefly in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

He's charged with kidnapping and murdering Leiby Kletzky.

Prosecutors say the boy asked him for directions after getting lost while walking home from camp on July 11th in Borough Park.

Defense lawyers say Aron has been found competent of standing trial after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

"He's been found by the evaluators to be competent to stand trial and fit to proceed," said Defense Attorney Pierre Bazile.

"Fitness to proceed only includes that he understands the nature and charges against him, that is he able to understand he's being criminally prosecuted, he knows what those charges are, and is able to participate in his own defense. It is not a rendering on sanity or insanity, it is only on competency," said Defense Attorney Jennifer McCann.

Attorneys say Aron told them he hears voices.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind was among those present for today's arraignment.

He is urging members of the community to join him in support of the Kletzky family.

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