Friday, May 02, 2014
The construction worker accused of brutally murdering Brooklyn landlord Menachem Stark was ordered held without bond Thursday.
Kendel Felix, dressed in black from head to toe, said nothing at his minute-long arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court and did not enter a plea.
But Starks’ brother had tears in his eyes.
“He was a great man,” Yitzy Stark, 30, said of his slain sibling. “We can’t bring him back and our family will always be broken.”
Felix, 26, of Crown Heights, was charged with killing Stark on Wednesday after a four month search by police. He was employed by a contractor who did work for the doomed Hasidic businessman and is due back in court Monday, where his indictment will be unveiled.
Police said Felix was the “main player” in the plot to rob Stark.
Two friends whom the Brooklyn suspect identified as accomplices are also being questioned but so far have not been charged, police sources said.
Felix “admits they wanted to rob him,” one source said. “They weren’t thinking about killing him.”
All three were linked to the crime by evidence found in a van that was used to abduct Stark on Jan. 2 after he left his business in Williamsburg, sources said.
Investigators believe Felix was the driver.
Two of the suspects were linked to a cellphone that was found attached to the undercarriage of Stark’s car in the days after the murder, a source said.
It belongs to one of the suspects and calls were made to it by one of the other two, the source said.
The trio of toughs apparently believed Stark, a 39-year-old married father-of-seven, was loaded. He was actually up to his ears in debt.
Among others, Stark owed more than $20,000 to a contractor.
Detectives are still investigating whether the suspects kidnapped the victim in an attempt to collect that money — or if they were simply looking to rob him because they knew he carried a lot of cash.
Felix told cops he and his cohorts accidentally suffocated Stark as he fought to escape, a source said. They originally intended to dump the body way out on Long Island, but snow forced them to alter that plan, the source said.
They wound up dumping Stark’s body, which was partially burned, in a Great Neck, L.I., trash bin.
“We are confident that all those people who were involved in this dastardly act will be arrested," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn).
“It was a robbery, that's all it was,” he added. “All the other stories caused so much pain. ... His family, his community — they were dragged through the mud.”
Hikind was referring the revelations that Stark and business partner Israel Perlmutter were millions of dollars in debt — and that Stark may have cooked the books to cover-up an alleged misuse of loan money.
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