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Leiby Kletzky’s alleged killer gives interview

NEW YORK (JTA) — In his first media interview since being arrested, the alleged murderer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky told the New York Daily News that "It hurts too much to think about" the killing.

"I don’t know what happened," Levi Aron told the New York Daily News. "I just panicked."

In the interview, published Friday, Aron showed relunctance to speak about the killing. Aron never referred to Kletzky by name, and when asked if he wanted to apologize, he remained silent — at one point nodding his head.

He referred to the moment of Kletzky’s death as "the incident," and repeatedly said "I don’t know" when asked for reasons or details of the killing.

A court-ordered psychiatric exam found that Aron, 35, likely suffers from a "personality disorder," The Associated Press reported Aug. 10.

Aron’s sister died while being institutionalized for schizophrenia, a mental illness that frequently repeats within families.

In the Daily News interview, Aron admitted to hearing voices, but refused to elaborate on what they said.

"His mood is neutral, practically blank," the psychological exam found. "The only time he seems to show an emotional response is when he is asked difficult questions about the reason for his incarceration."

Aron was transferred from Bellevue Hospital Center to Rikers Island this week, where he remains on 24-hour suicide watch. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and kidnapping charges.

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