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Brooklyn Boy's Alleged Killer Is Hearing Voices, Lawyer Claims

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The suspect in the murder and dismemberment of an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy is hearing voices, his lawyer said, and has been placed on suicide watch following his arraignment Thursday on a first-degree murder charge.

Levi Aron, 35, entered a not guilty plea at Brooklyn Criminal Court in the murder of Leiby Kletzky.

Aron's attorney, Pierre Bazile, asked for a psychiatric exam for his client, saying, "I have some serious concerns about the defendant's mental state."  He said that Aron said he was hearing voices.

Aron looked down and was stony-faced and silent during the proceeding.  The attorney asked for his client to be placed on suicide watch, saying, "I'm very concerned for his well-being."

Earlier, when police took Aron out of the precinct house, he ducked as an angry crowd screamed, "Murderer!"

Kletzky was abducted on his way home from camp on Monday.  The child struggled for his life before he was apparently suffocated to death, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Thursday.

Kelly said the medical examiner has not yet established a time of death or definitive cause of death, but that tentatively "it's a result of suffocation."  There is no indication so far of molestation, Kelly said.  There appears to be a ligature mark on the boy's body, suggesting he was tied up.

In his confession, Aron allegedly said he suffocated Kletzky with a towel and then cut up his body.  Kelly indicated that police believe the confession is largely true.

"He has been reasonably forthcoming.  The bulk of what he's said is believed to be correct," he said.

In the confession, Aron talks about finding the boy on the street and asking him if he wanted to come to a wedding and taking him for a ride, Kelly said.  He said the child was in the abductor's custody by 5:40 p.m. on Monday.

Kelly confirmed that Aron went to a wedding in Monsey, an Orthodox community in Rockland County north of New York City, on Monday night, although he could not "say definitively if the boy was with him."

Aron went to work on Tuesday for his usual shift ending at 4:45 p.m. at a hardware store in his Brooklyn neighborhood, Kelly said.  In the confession, Aron said the boy was still there when he returned home, and he made him a tuna sandwich, then panicked when he realized the extent of the search for the child and suffocated him with a towel before dismembering him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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