Ten weeks. Some 250 hours. More than 4,000 pages of testimony. Forty witnesses. Over 300 exhibits and 100 pages of instructions.
And now the verdict is in: Narcy Novack and her brother Cristobal Veliz were found guilty of at least two counts of murder and racketeering in connection with the grisly 2009 murders of her husband, Ben Novack Jr., and his mother, Bernice Novack, heirs to the Fontainebleau hotel fortune.
Narcy, 55, was not present for the verdict, was convicted on 12 of the 13 counts against her, and her brother was convicted on 14 of 15 counts. The verdict was announced in White Plains, N.Y., where the 9-week trial was held.
With the verdict, Novack is likely to lose all rights to her husband’s $10 million estate, ending her lavish, rags-to-riches life.
The jury seemed to be struggling in recent days with the task of finding a verdict while poring over an indictment that includes so many charges, elements, theories, acts and conspiracies that even a law professor would be shaking his head.
Jurors indicated they may have been hung up on a key piece of the case: a gold bracelet worn by Novack Jr., with the name “Ben” spelled out in diamonds. Prosecutors allege that the sparkling trinket was stolen from his body and that that single act of robbery goes to the heart of the felony murder conviction.
Novack’s wife and her brother were accused of orchestrating the murders. Ben Jr.’s bludgeoned body was found in a Westchester, N.Y. hotel room, where the Fort Lauderdale millionaire was staying on business. His mother’s body was found similarly beaten to death in her Fort Lauderdale home three months earlier.