Erskin Felix, the Crown Heights man who led the charge in kidnapping and accidentally murdering Menachem Stark, the notorious Williamsburg landlord and developer, has been convicted, the Brooklyn District Attorney's office announced Monday.
Felix was found guilty of second-degree felony murder, kidnapping resulting in death, and tampering with evidence in a Brooklyn Criminal Court yesterday. He faces 25 years to life in prison, and will be sentenced on May 1st.
"This was a cold-blooded kidnapping that resulted in the death of a businessman and member of the Williamsburg community," said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a press release. "This verdict holds the defendant accountable for his role in this tragic and senseless death.”
On the night of January 2nd, 2014, Erskin and his cousin, Kendel Felix, abducted Stark outside his Williamsburg office, according to prosecutors. They struggled to get him into a Dodge Caravan, as surveillance footage released by the NYPD revealed.
Erskin and Kendel Felix had both previously worked for Stark, doing contracting and construction, respectively. Stark, a real estate developer, seemed to have had as many friends as he did detractors: Fellow neighbors in the Hasidic community spoke of him fondly, while others pointed to the multiple lawsuits filed against him and Israel Perlmutter, his partner, for defaulting on loans.
The Felixes intended to hold Stark for ransom, but accidentally ended up killing him instead, according to the DA's office. They had restrained Stark by putting tape over his mouth, as well as his legs and arms, and with Erskin sitting on his chest.
When arriving at their cousin Irvine Henry's house, after picking up Erskin's brother, Kendall, they realized that Stark was dead. An autopsy later revealed that Stark died from asphyxiation, from his neck and chest being compressed.
Erskin told both Kendel and Kendall to dispose of Stark's body, and the two drove to Great Neck, Long Island, where they threw the corpse in a gas station dumpster and lit it on fire. The day after the kidnapping, Stark's burned body was found in the Long Island dumpster.
In September 2016, Kendel Felix was convicted of second-degree murder and first degree kidnapping, and has yet to be sentenced. Kendall Felix was sentenced up to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree conspiracy and first-degree hindering prosecution. Henry is also awaiting sentencing, after pleading guilty in 2017 for attempting to tamper with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.