(JTA) — A lawyer for the man accused of killing 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky said his client has a mental deficiency due to inbreeding in the Chasidic community.
Attorney Howard Greenberg continued to pursue an insanity defense for Levi Aron during a hearing Wednesday in a Brooklyn Supreme Court. Levi was shown in court via a live video feed from Rikers Island prison. He did not speak or look at the camera, according to reports.
"Look, everybody knows when blood relations have offspring, there can be genetic defects," Greenberg said during the hearing, according to the New York Post. "It’s something that needs to be investigated down to the ground."
Aron is charged with murdering Leiby near his Brooklyn home in July. He said he picked up the haredi Orthodox boy in his car when the boy became lost while walking home from camp for the first time and asking for directions. Aron said he panicked after the boy was reported missing.
Parts of Leiby’s dismembered body were found in Aron’s freezer.
A psychological exam has found Aron competent to stand trial, although he has admitted to hearing voices. Aron has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and kidnapping.
New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) told the Post that Greenberg’s comments on inbreeding show that he is a "sick, self-hating Jew who’s making a mockery of this case."