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Accused child killer Levi Aron is expected to plead guilty Thursday to abducting, killing and dismembering Leiby Kletzky, the 8-year-old boy who was kidnapped when he got lost walking home from day camp in Borough Park last July, according to people familiar with the case.
NBC 4 New York first reported the anticipated guilty plea last week.
Levi Aron is slated to appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court for a status hearing at 2:15 p.m. He has previously pleaded not guilty to killing Kletzky.
A tentative plea deal calls for a sentence of 40 to 60 years in prison for Aron, but the details could still change, one source said.
Prosecutors struck the deal in close consultation with Kletzky's family, said
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the district that includes the tight-knit Hasidic community rocked by the boy's disappearance and death.
Aron's attorney declined comment last week, as did the Brooklyn district attorney's office.
"The family very much wanted to avoid a trial," Hikind said last week. "The pain they would go through is beyond comprehension. They are content with this and this is what they wanted."
Hikind, who said he will read the Kletzky family's statement in court, continued: "Leiby will always be missed. They want to go on with life as best they can. The family feels this will be justice... They know it will not bring Leiby back."
Kletzky went missing July 11 of last year while walking home from religious day camp, the first time he was allowed to walk by himself. He missed his turn and got lost, and police say he approached Aron for help.
About two days later, the boy's severed feet were found in the freezer at Aron's apartment, along with bloody knives and a carving board. The rest of the boy's body was found in a red suitcase in a trash bin several blocks away. His legs had been cut from his torso.
According to prosecutors, Aron admitted he killed the boy after he panicked when he saw posters with the child's photo. After the two met on the street, Aron took the boy to a wedding upstate, then to his apartment.
The child remained at the apartment alone all day while Aron was at work. When Aron returned, he took a bath towel and smothered the boy, he said, according to authorities.
The medical examiner's office said the boy was given a cocktail of prescription drugs. But Aron's confession didn't mention that, and he denied ever tying up the boy, though marks were found on the child's body.
A court-ordered evaluation in August found Aron fit to stand trial on murder charges, but said he is deeply troubled, with an adjustment disorder and a personality disorder with schizoid features.
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