Kendel Felix, the Brooklyn man who confessed to aiding the grisly 2014 murder of Williamsburg landlord Menachem Stark, is no dummy, according to a psychologist testifying on behalf of prosecutors.
“I apologize for my colleague yesterday for saying you were brain damaged and below intellect,” psychologist Kathy Yates testified Thursday, according to the New York Daily News.
With Felix set to stand trial in August, defense attorney Jack Goldberg has sought to portray his client as “unsophisticated” and having an IQ of 87, making it more likely that his taped confession was forced. The defense has argued that following a 2010 motorcycle accident, Felix has also suffered from memory loss and confusion.
Felix faces 50 years to life if convicted.
Felix confessed to being the driver in the 2014 robbery-turned-murder of Stark whose body was discovered in Great Neck, Long Island. But Felix claims his cousin was the mastermind behind the crime.
Earlier this week, a New York City police detective corroborated that Felix was not the mastermind behind the murder.
But according to Yates, Felix had the capacity to understand when he waived his rights and confessed to his role.
She said Felix, who she interviewed for five hours this winter, has been pursuing food handling certifications at Rikers Island. She said his memory loss symptoms were faked. [NYDN] — E.B. Solomont