Thursday, July 28, 2016

Detective says man accused of killing Menachem Stark wasn’t the “mastermind” 

From left: Menachem Stark and Kendel Felix

A New York City Police Department detective testified on Tuesday that the Brooklyn man accused of killing landlord Menachem Stark likely wasn't the mastermind behind the grisly kidnapping and murder.

Kendel Felix, who faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted, claims that his cousin planned the robbery that led to Starks death in January 2014, the New York Daily News reported. NYPD Detective Christopher Scarry testified at a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday that Felix likely didn't plan out the robbery.

"He (Felix) was quiet, lazy, laid back, a follower, definitely not the mastermind of this," Scarry said.

Felix was arrested three months after the murder, on charges that he had grabbed Stark from in front of his Williamsburg office, bound him and forced him into a van where he eventually suffocated. Stark's partially burned body was found in a dumpster in Long Island.

Though there are three other co-defendants in the case, no one else has been charged in the murder. Stark, a member of Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community, was part of a group of investors and developers that helped fuel the borough's development and sales boom in recent years.

Stark and his partner Israel Palmutter built a portfolio across Brooklyn that at one time reached 1,000 units.

In November, about 50 tenants in one of Stark's rental buildings, 120 South 4th Street, were forced out of their homes after the Department of Buildings found the structure's integrity "questionable."

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