Levi Aron, the 35-year-old hardware store clerk accused of abducting an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy off the street and killing him before cutting up his body was formally charged Thursday afternoon. This is video of the arraignment.
The man suspected of abducting and killing an 8-year-old boy he met on the street has been found fit to proceed in his case, which means he understands the charges against him.
“Now that Mr. Aron has been found fit to proceed we will move forward expeditiously to bring his case to trial," Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said in a statement. "I want to reaffirm that this case will go to trial and that there are absolutely no circumstances which would lead me to accept a plea bargain.”
Clad in an orange jumpsuit with his hands shackled to his waist, Levi Aron appeared in court Thursday and pleaded not guilty to charges that include first-degree murder.
Aron was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after pleading not guilty at an initial arraignment last month before the grand jury indicted him. He is accused of drugging Leiby Kletzky before smothering him and chopping up his body.
At that court appearance, his lawyers said he hears voices and hallucinates.
On Thursday, defense attorneys said psychiatrists recommended that Aron continue treatment at Bellevue Hospital. Aron's next court date is Oct. 14.
Being found fit to proceed does not preclude an insanity defense.
Documents filed Thursday revealed Aron was questioned about other crimes "in an attempt to develop new leads," according to police paperwork.
Police showed Aron a photo of Patrick Alford, the 8-year-old boy who vanished from his foster mother's Brooklyn apartment building more than a year ago.
Aron told police, "I have never seen this child. I wish I knew what happened to him, I would tell you," sources tell NBC New York.
Other police paperwork reveals Aron was questioned about possible past sex crimes against children.
Aron revealed he'd been sexually assaulted by a man aboard a train when he was 18, but told detectives: "I never did that to a child because I don't swing that way."
Aron told investigators he wanted to say more but he was unsure what to say. He thanked them for talking to him and offered no other details.
Kletzky was abducted after he left day camp the afternoon of July 11. He was supposed to walk seven blocks to meet his parents, but got lost and encountered Aron on the street.
Aron told police the child initially wanted to go to a book store, but changed his mind. Aron said he then brought the boy to a wedding in Monsey, N.Y. He said they arrived at about 7 p.m. and left an hour and a half later.
Aron told police the two returned to his home at about 11:30 p.m. Monday night, about six hours after Kletzky was last seen on surveillance video. He said they sat in traffic for three hours and that the boy sat in the back seat during the drive home, sources tell NBC New York.
Also, Aron said the boy was inside the wedding hall with him, where they ate before going home. Previously, wedding guests told police they saw Aron at the event but did not see the boy.
During interrogation, Aron was forthcoming with police, authorities have said.
Sources tell NBC New York he also told detectives he's famous and that he hears voices in his head that are telling him to take his own life for doing what he did to Kletzky.
Police offered Aron food at some point the evening of his arrest. Aron said that he did not eat kosher and when detectives suggested he get Burger King or McDonald's, he said McDonald's. He wound up eating Chinese food.
Aron made a full written confession to police about killing Kletzky. When detectives asked him what happened, Aron responded, "I was going to bring him back the next day but I seen the flyer, got scared."
NBC New York obtained the confession Aron gave to police after he was arrested.