‘Mastermind’ of 2014 Murder of Williamsburg Landlord Arrested: Prosecutors
BROOKLYN — The man believed to be the “mastermind” behind the 2014 murder of a notorious Williamsburg landlord, whose body was found torched in a Long Island dumpster following a “botched robbery and kidnapping” scheme was arrested Thursday, prosecutors said Friday.
Erskin Felix, 28, a construction worker used to work for landlord Menachem Stark, 39, was arrested by police and charged with murder in the second degree and kidnapping, prosecutors said.
“This defendant is alleged to be the mastermind whose plot to kidnap Menachem Stark and extort money from him ended with his death,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “This long-term, complex investigation leading to the arrest of this defendant and his co-defendant is testament to the commitment of this office and the New York City Police Department to get justice for the Stark family.”
Kendall Felix, 28, Esrkin’s brother, was also arrested Thursday and faces hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence charges for the 2014 crime, according to police and prosecutors.
The men were awaiting arraignment as of Friday morning, prosecutors said, and no information about their attorneys was immediately available.
Kendel Felix, 26, admitted to police that he and his relatives kidnapped Menachem Stark in an attempt to rob him, but said the robbery accidentally turned into murder when his relative sat on Stark’s chest during the struggle.
The two arrests come after the trial of their cousin Kendel Felix, 29, who was found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in September.
It came out during Kendel’s trial that he and a number of others had kidnapped Stark with the intention of robbing him, but when the landlord resisted, one of the attackers sat on his chest suffocating him, prosecutors said.
In a videotaped confession, Kendel told investigators he was the driver in a scheme to get Stark to pay a debt owed to his cousin who was the brains behind the twisted scheme, and other people were involved, the Daily News reported.
The lead detective on the case testified during the trail that Kendel was “definitely not the mastermind,” of what prosecutors dubbed a “botched robbery and kidnapping,” according to the Daily News.