WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSMiami/AP) – One of two men, allegedly hired to kill South Florida millionaire Ben Novack Jr. testified Thursday that Novack’s wife pointed out her husband to the attackers by stroking his hair in a restaurant.
Alejandro Garcia testified at the federal murder trial of Narcy Novack, and her brother, Cristobal Veliz.
They are accused of hiring Garcia and others to kill the South Florida hotel heir and his mother in 2009.
Ben Novack’s father built the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.
Garcia said Veliz took him and an accomplice to a Fort Lauderdale restaurant to see what Ben Novack looked like.
He said Narcy Novack and Veliz arranged that when Garcia entered, Novack would identify her husband by stroking his hair.
Garcia and the accomplice have pleaded guilty in the case and are cooperating.
Wednesday, Garcia testified that he used a heavy plumber’s wrench to bash the head and face of 86-year-old Bernice Novack in April 2009 in her Fort Lauderdale home. Garcia said after he was congratulated on “a good job” in the fatal attack, he was recruited into another plot to attack the millionaire himself. The instructions, he said came from Narcy.
Bernice Novack died shortly after Garcia’s assault in April 2009, and Ben Novack was beaten to death three months later in a New York hotel room.
Alejandro Garcia is a Nicaraguan illegally in the U.S. He said he was hired to kill Novack and his mom so the $10 million Novack estate would fall to Narcy.
Garcia testified that Veliz told him Bernice told her son to beat his wife and that Narcy Novack blamed her for unwanted breast implants she was given while she was unconscious.
Garcia agreed to attack Bernice Novack for $1,000.
“Cristobal said his sister was being abused by Mr. Novack,” he said. He said Veliz also told him Ben Novack had sex with little girls.
“He made me sort of hate the guy,” Garcia said.
He said the plan was to injure Novack so severely he would have to retire and Narcy Novack and Veliz would take over his travel company. At first the plan included cutting off Novack’s testicles, but that evolved into slashing his eyes, he said.
Veliz promised him $15,000 and “a good tip,” Garcia said.
If convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, Narcy and her brother could be sent to prison for life.
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