Three men were indicted Wednesday in connection with the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Menachem Stark, a Hasidic Williamsburg landlord and father of eight, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said.
Erskin Felix, 38, of Crown Heights was indicted for murder and kidnapping, while his brother, 28-year-old Kendall Felix and his cousin, 35-year-old Irvine Henry, also from Crown Heights, were indicted for conspiracy, the Brooklyn DA said.
Erskin and Kendel Felix, who are cousins, accosted Stark on the street as he left his office at 331 Rutledge St. in Williamsburg on Jan. 2, 2014 at around 11:30 p.m., according to the Brooklyn DA.
Stark tried to escape but was unsuccessful, and the Felix cousins forced him into a van and drove away from Stark’s office. Kendall and Henry Felix, also cousins of Erskin and Kendel, then met up with Erskin and Kendal, and during this time, Stark died of asphyxia apparently while being restrained, according to the Brooklyn DA.
The plan formulated by Erskin Felix was to extort money from Stark using a conspiracy that included his three cousins. But when the four cousins found out Stark was dead, they rushed back to the scene of the kidnapping to get rid of any evidence. Unfortunately for them, they found the scene flooded with police, so they went to a dumpster in Nassau County, threw his body in it, and set it on fire, the Brooklyn DA said.
Around 17 hours later, a Nassau County police officer found Stark’s partially burned body in the dumpster behind a gas station in Great Neck, Long Island, according to the Brooklyn DA. An autopsy conducted by the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office found that the cause of death was asphyxia by compression of the neck and chest.
“This indictment is the latest step in our journey toward justice for Menachem Stark, his seven children and the rest of the family his killers took him from,” said Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
“This was an especially callous crime, where the defendants acted on a desire for money alone,” said NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
Erskin Felix was arraigned Tuesday in a Brooklyn Supreme Court on second-degree murder and first- and second-degree kidnapping charges, the Brooklyn DA said. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
Kendall Felix and Irvine Henry, the cousins who joined the scene after the kidnapping, were arraigned Tuesday in a Brooklyn Supreme Court, charged with second- and fourth- degree conspiracy, tampering with physical evidence, attempted tampering with physical evidence, and first-degree hindering prosecution. They face up to 25 years in prison if they are convicted. Their next court date is Feb. 8, 2017.
Kendel Felix, who allegedly kidnapped Stark with Erskin Felix, was convicted by a jury of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree murder in September 2016. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison.