Kendel Felix, the man accused of killing reputed slumlord Menachem Stark, will stand trial in June.
Felix was arrested in April 2014. He told police at the time he’d been hired by a person named “Erskine” to “scare” Stark into returning money the landlord owed Erskine. The two allegedly bound Stark and forced him into a van where he is said to have eventually suffocated.
A judge decided Felix was fit to face charges after he appeared via video conference Thursday before the Brooklyn Supreme Court, the New York Post reported.
Stark’s partially-burned body was found in a dumpster in Long Island.
Felix, the only person charged in the case, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and murder charges.
Stark, a member of Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community, belonged to a previously unheralded coterie of developers and investors fueling the borough’s boom in the past years. He and his partner Israel Palmutter built a portfolio that at one time reached 1,000 units.
Last November, about 50 tenants in one of his rental buildings, 120 South 4th Street, were forced out of their homes after the Department of Buildings posted a notice to vacate citing the building’s “quesitonable structure integrity.” [NYP] – Ariel Stulberg