NEW YORK – A man accused of abducting and dismembering an 8-year-old boy who got lost on the way home is expected to enter a guilty plea to avoid trial.
Levi Aron is slated to appear in Brooklyn supreme court for a status hearing Thursday at 2:15 p.m. He has previously pleaded not guilty to killing Leiby Kletzky, who went missing while walking home from religious day camp.
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has said Aron is expected to enter the plea as part of a deal that would result in a life sentence.
Prosecutors struck the deal in close consultation with Kletzky's family, the assemblyman said. The boy's disappearance and horrific death last year stunned his tight-knit Hasidic community in a section of Brooklyn represented by Hikind.
A person briefed on the plea negotiations told The Associated Press that under the pending agreement, Aron would get a sentence of 40 years to life behind bars.
The person was not authorized to discuss the deal publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Hikind said he was asked by Leiby's parents, Nachman and Esther Klezky, to appear in court and read a statement on their behalf.
"The Kletzkys are eager to see this concluded and grateful to D.A. Hynes," Hikind said. "They are hopeful that a deal for 40-years-to-life will be accepted because the last thing they want is to relive the horror of losing their child."