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Leiby Kletzky’s accused killer pleads not guilty, competent to stand trial

NEW YORK (JTA) — Levi Aron, the Brooklyn man who is accused of killing and dismembering 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Aron was arraigned Thursday in Brooklyn. An attorney spoke for the suspect.

A psychological exam requested by his defense team found that Aron is competent to stand trial, it was revealed in court. He had told his attorneys that he heard voices.

“He understands the nature of the charges and the proceedings and can assist in his defense,” Pierre Bazile, a member of Aron’s defense team, said to reporters after the hearing, The New York Times reported. “It is not a rendering on sanity or insanity.”

Aron is charged with murdering Leiby after the boy became lost while walking home from camp for the first time and asked for directions, then got into his car.

Kletzky’s death sparked widespread grief and heated debate within the Chasidic community. A charity created in his name by the Kletzky family has raised $265,399.

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