msnbc.com news services
updated 7/22/2011 12:17:35 PM ET 2011-07-22T16:17:35

Saying his conscience prevented him from continuing, an attorney for the accused murderer of 8-year-old Brooklyn boy Leiby Kletzky has quit the case, a newspaper reported Friday.

Gerard Marrone, who was one of two lawyers defending Levi Aron, told The New York Daily News that he stepped down because of "the horrific way this boy was killed."

Image: Leiby Kletzky
NYPD via AP
This undated photo provided by the New York City Police Department shows eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky.

"I have three little boys," Marrone told the paper.

"You can't look at your kids and then look at yourself in the mirror, knowing that a little boy, who's close in age to my eldest son, was murdered so brutally," the Daily News quoted him as saying.

Boy taken while walking home
Aron, 35, was indicted this week over the abduction and death of Leiby, who disappeared while walking home from a Jewish day camp for the first time last week. The child got lost, asked a stranger later identified as Aron for directions and got into his car, surveillance video showed.

A city-wide search was under way to find the boy when police found the boy's body parts and arrested Aron two days later.

The New York City Medical Examiner's office said this week that Leiby was drugged with antipsychotic pills, a muscle relaxant, pain relievers, and Tylenol before he was smothered and later dismembered.

Aron, who has said he was "hearing voices," has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam.

If convicted, he could face life in prison without parole.

Read a redacted transcript of Aron's alleged confession here.

© 2013 msnbc.com

Video: Cops: Man confesses to killing NYC boy

  1. Closed captioning of: Cops: Man confesses to killing NYC boy

    >> we want to begin with that chilling confession of the alleged killer of an 8-year-old boy. jeff rossen is in brooklyn with details on this and we should warn you that some of the details are disturbing, jeff.

    >> reporter: they sure are. this 8-year-old boy asked his parents over and over again, can i please just walk home from summer chasm aamp all by himself. they finally said yes. it was only about seven blocks. they even ran through it and practiced it together. but when the boy did it all by himself on monday, he walked right down this street and something went wrong. he got lost right over here at this intersection. he asked a stranger for directions. and police say that man took him and then killed him. wednesday night, thousands mourned the loss of a little boy . these are the last images ever taken of 8-year-old leibby kletzky, surveillance video showing him walking down the sidewalk on the way to meet his mom. he took a wrong turn and police say asked a man for directions. you can see him walk behind him. minutes later they walk back and police say lei bcht by gets into the man's never to be seen again.

    >> very nice boy. very nice boy.

    >> reporter: after days of searching, police got a tip from a dentist's office on the block where leibby disappeared. police rushed to the home of 35-year-old levi aron .

    >> when detectives asked where the boy was, aron nodded toward the kitchen where they observed blood.

    >> reporter: law enforcement sources say he confessed saying he drove him to a wedding, then brought him to his house where he watched tv and then fell asleep. the next day, he saw flyers about leibby's disappearance and told them i panicked and was afraid, went for a towel to smother him. police say the boy's body was dismembered with body parts pound found in the suspect's freezer and a nearby dumpster. police sources say the confession ends, i understand this may be wrong and i'm sorry for the hurt that i have caused.

    >> i'm still in shock. i need time to process what's happening in this neighborhood.

    >> reporter: this is a tight knit community where orthodox jews live together and protect each other. his accused killer was an orthodox jew .

    >> this was not some stranger, someone within the community.

    >> reporter: aron lived with his father, worked at a hardware store. he's divorced, onces married to this woman.

    >> i never once saw anything out of the ordinary or anything like that ever.

    >> reporter: aron 's lawyer had only this to say.

    >> our condolences to the family of the victim. we'll let the judicial process take its course. no further comment.

    >> reporter: aron is clarharged with second-degree murder and investigators may actually dig up his backyard later today searching for evidence of other crimes.

    >> jeff rossen for us in brooklyn this morning. thank you

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