Leiby Kletzky killer Levi Aron pleads guilty

The killer of an eight-year-old Charedi boy in New York last year has admitted his guilt.

The grim details of the shocking murder and dismembering of Leiby Kletzky were revealed in court on Thursday, as killer Levi Aron acknowledged that he had drugged and smothered the child. He explained that he had kidnapped the boy, who went missing on his way home from summer camp, then "panicked" when the Chaedi community of Boro Park mounted a mass search effort.

In a statement given to police, Aron said: "When I saw the fliers, I was panicky and afraid.

"I went for a towel to smother him. He fought back a little until he eventually stopped breathing."

Aron, who had worked in a hardware store, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping, confirming that he had cut up the body and then concealed parts in a suitcase.

His guilty plea will spare the Kletzky family a torturous and drawn out court case, as it was made as part of a plea to sentence him to at least 40 years behind bars.

Leiby's father, Nachman, said that the deal had offered "some partial closure on one aspect of this nightmare" but added: "There is no way one can comprehend or understand the pain of losing a child."

Last updated: 11:35am, August 10 2012