Menachem Stark was kidnapped, murdered and burned. The man who set the fire could serve less than three years.
“Cruel beyond words:” Victim’s family outraged at lenient sentencing
Family members of a kidnapped and killed Brooklyn landlord whose body was found charred in a Long Island dumpster railed against what they said was too lenient a sentence for the man who bought the gasoline and burned the body.
Kendall Felix, who pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy and first-degree hindering prosecution, was sentenced to a minimum of two years and four months to a maximum of seven years on Wednesday.
“I feel that it’s way too little. The man ruined a living family’s life. No one asked him to burn the body. Cruel beyond words. I believe he deserves a lot more,” said Yenti Hershkovitz, the sister-in-law of Menachem Stark, whose murder rocked the Williamsburg Hasidic community in 2014.
Judge Danny Chun cited the defendant’s age and college degree at the time of the killing for the lenient sentence.
“I was also convinced that this defendant was not the mastermind for many, many reasons. This defendant is not the mastermind behind the planning to kidnap Mr. Stark in this case,” Chun said.
Stark was 39 and had seven children at the time of his death. The New York Post notoriously ran a outrage-sparking cover just after his death that read, “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?”, chronicling the victim’s debts and enemies.
Stark, a Williamsburg landlord who came under scrutiny for the questionable conditions of his buildings, was kidnapped by Kendel Felix and Erskine Felix — cousins of Kendall Felix — outside his Williamsburg office in January 2014.
Kendel Felix, who once worked for Stark, was convicted of second degree murder in the botched robbery.
With Stark dead, it was Kendall Felix who bought gasoline during a snowstorm and brought it to the dumpster where the man’s body lay.
“He lit a piece of paper on fire and then set Menachem Stark’s body on fire,” said Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson at sentencing.
Bashie Stark — Stark’s widow — cried at sentencing as she remembered her murdered husband.
“His generosity knew no bounds, not only with money but with his kindness, his patience, his legendary smile,” she said. “The trauma from that night will never leave us.”
She specifically balked at the heinousness of the attempted disposal of her husband’s body, which was found smoldering in a dumpster in Great Neck. “I will be haunted by the image of my husband’s end,” she said.
When asked if he had anything he would like to say before being sentenced, Felix demurred, “No your honor, not at this time,” he said.
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