In a quiet, emotionless voice, Levi Aron yesterday pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and second-degree murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky last summer, as part of the deal that will likely put him in jail for the rest of his life (he won't be eligible for parole for at least 40 years). Aron gave no explanation for his crimes, saying only that he "panicked" when he realized people were searching for Leiby, so he killed and dismembered the boy and disposed of the body parts in a suitcase, reports the AP.
While the attorney general had previously said there were "absolutely no circumstances" that would allow him to accept a plea bargain, he yesterday agreed to accept a guilty plea to spare Leiby's family the burdens of a trial. "There is no way one can comprehend or understand the pain of losing a child," said Leiby's father, Nachman Kletzky, in a statement, adding that the plea presented "some partial closure on one aspect of this nightmare." (Read more Levi Aron stories.)