April 9, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A Crown Heights man was convicted yesterday for the abduction and murder of local Williamsburg landlord Menachem Stark.
Erskin Felix, 40, now faces 25 years to life in prison for the crimes he committed more than five years ago. A jury found Felix guilty of murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
“With today’s verdict this defendant has been brought to justice for the murder of Menachem Stark, which devastated his wife and seven children,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “This was a cold-blooded kidnapping that resulted in the death of a businessman and member of the Williamsburg community. This verdict holds the defendant accountable for his role in this tragic and senseless death.”
On Jan. 2, 2014, Felix and his cousin Kendel Felix, 31, ambushed Stark, 39, as he was leaving his office at 331 Rutledge St., near Broadway. The cousins, who had both previously worked for Stark, abducted him with the intention of holding him for ransom.
According to trial testimony, Stark fought back as the Felix cousins tried to force him into a Dodge minivan. Once they got him inside, they bound Stark’s arms and legs with duct tape, taped his mouth, and put a ski mask over his head. Kendel drove the van while Erskin held Stark down by sitting on his chest.
They then picked up Erskin’s brother, Kendall Felix, and drove to the home of another cousin, Irvine Henry. When they arrived at Henry’s home, they realized that Stark had died from their attempts to subdue him. The cousins then returned to Stark’s Williamsburg office to try to steal his Lexus SUV, but saw police on the scene.
Wanting to get rid of the body, they then drove to Long Island and threw Stark’s body in a dumpster at a gas station in Great Neck and set it on fire. Seventeen hours later, police found the partially burned body. An autopsy later confirmed that Stark had died from asphyxia by compression of the neck and chest.
Kendel Felix was convicted of kidnapping and murder in September 2016 and is now awaiting sentencing. Last month, Kendall Felix pled guilty to conspiracy and hindering prosecution and was sentenced to 2 years and four months to 7 years in prison. Irvine Henry pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and attempted tampering with physical evidence in February 2017. He is awaiting sentencing.
Erskin Felix will appear in court again on May 1 for sentencing.