WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSMiami/AP) — Narcy Novack has been convicted by a New York state jury of orchestrating the killings of her husband, Ben Novack, and her mother-in-law, Bernice Novack.
Narcy Novack was acquitted of charges that mentioned her husband Ben’s murder, but convicted on charges of causing both deaths, according to the Associated Press.
CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown was in the courtroom and said Narcy lost all rights to her husband’s hotel fortune.
The verdict came after less than three days of deliberations, but after a 10 week trial, more than 200 hours of testimony, and thousands of pages of transcripts.
Jurors began considering the case Monday after eight weeks of testimony. They deliberated for 6½ hours the first day and 7 ½ hours the second day. During Tuesday’s deliberations, the federal jury occasionally asked for clarification of the charges and for transcripts of testimony.
Novack, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged with directing the fatal beatings of Ben Novack Jr. at a suburban New York hotel and Bernice Novack at her Fort Lauderdale home three months earlier, in a play for their family fortune.
Ben Novack’s father built the famed Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.
Prosecutors said Narcy Novack feared her husband would divorce her and ordered the attacks to secure the multimillion-dollar family estate for herself.
The defense has suggested that Novack’s daughter, May Abad, was responsible. The defense has noted that Abad’s sons will inherit the multimillion-dollar family estate if Narcy Novack is convicted. Abad, who has not been charged, said the theory is “a joke.”
Her brother, and co-defendant Christopher Veliz of Brooklyn, was also convicted by the jury.
The prosecution said Narcy paid Veliz to hire the killers. They allege she feared she would lose out on the family millions because her husband was having an affair and she had signed a prenuptial agreement.
The killers testified that Narcy Novack let them into the couple’s hotel room, led them to her sleeping husband and gave them a pillow to muffle his screams as they beat him with dumbbells. One of them has also admitted killing Bernice Novack by bashing her with a plumber’s wrench. He said he got his instructions from Veliz and Narcy Novack.
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