Levi Aron's attorneys are expected to ask for his trial to be moved out of Brooklyn because they claim the publicity surrounding the murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky – a hasidic boy whose dismembered body was found in Aron's apartment and in a dumpster two miles away – makes it difficult for Aron to get a fair trial. Also today, another defense attorney was added to Aron's legal team.
An attempt to move the trial really isn't news.
From the moment the body was found and Aron was arrested, almost anyone familiar with the criminal justice system and the case expect Aron's attorneys to ask for a change of venue.
But CBS 2 News is now reporting that Aron's attorneys are expected to ask for a change of venue.
Its report quotes no source and contains no new fact and misrepresents others, for example writing that "prosecutors say Aron kidnapped Kletzky, killed him and then dismembered his body," when Aron actually confessed to killing Leiby and dismembering him.
As you remember, Kletzky was kidnapped from Borough Park, Brooklyn in July, taken by Aron to a haredi wedding in Monsey, New York, brought back to Aron's Brooklyn apartment and then killed by Aron the following night and dismembered.
Although found fit to stand trial, Aron has a history of psychiatric problems and failed marriages and was known in the Borough Park/Kensington haredi community as an odd person with an unusually acute interest in young children.
The New York Times' City Room blog is reporting that a new and more experienced defense attorney, Howard Greenberg, has joined Aron's defense team of Jennifer McCann and Pierre Bazile:
…Greenberg, who was admitted to the New York State bar in 1992, has tried many more cases. In one high profile case, in 2007, he negotiated a plea deal for James Colliton, a tax lawyer for a Manhattan company, who accepted a one-year prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea in the rape of three teenage girls, and for patronizing a prostitute.
“I’m in because I believe in equal justice under the law, and that applies to those you love and those you hate,” Mr. Greenberg said Monday morning.…
Greenberg says he took the case pro bono.
The Times is also reporting that later today the trial judge is expected to rule on a defense motion to force a prosecutor to recuse herself:
…Justice Firetog is…expected to rule on a motion [Aron's attorney] Ms. McCann filed last month in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn to request that the lead prosecutor, Julie B. Rendelman, recuse herself from trying the case. Ms. McCann argues that Ms. Rendelman became a witness while interviewing Mr. Aron in the police precinct after his arrest.
According to Ms. McCann’s motion, it would be improper for a lawyer to be a witness and then try the case since she has personal knowledge of the issues and behavior of the defendant.
Justice Firetog is not expected to remove Ms. Rendelman from the case.