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Lawyer says confession was coerced

The confession of a man charged with kidnapping, smothering and dismembering an 8-year-old boy was strong-armed by authorities who took advantage of his fragile mental state, defense attorneys said yesterday.

At a hearing in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn, Levi Aron appeared via video from behind plated glass, barely moving or shifting his gaze. Outside, his attorneys said they intend to prove Aron, 35, was not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Leiby Kletzky.

Greenberg said authorities told Aron what to write in his confession, and he followed their orders. "My opinion is this guy would admit he shot Kennedy if you spent enough time with him," said defense attorney Howard Greenberg.

Leiby went missing July 11 while walking home from religious day camp, the first time he was allowed to walk by himself. He missed his turn and became lost, and police say he approached Aron for help.

About two days later, the boy's severed feet were found in the freezer at Aron's apartmentThe medical examiner's office said the boy was given a cocktail of prescription drugs. But Aron's confession didn't mention that, and he denied ever tying up the boy, though marks were found on his body. -- AP

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