Feds seek life for Fla. woman in family killings

December 3, 2012 - 7:33 PM

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A Florida woman who was convicted of arranging the "sadistic" killings of her millionaire husband and his mother should spend the rest of her life in prison, federal prosecutors said Monday.

They also seek a life sentence for her brother, who was found guilty with her in the 2009 beating deaths.

"They are evil; they are dangerous; they are remorseless; and they are relentless," Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott Jacobson wrote in a sentencing memo to Judge Kenneth Karas.

Narcy Novack and Cristobal Veliz are to be sentenced Dec. 17. They were convicted in June of orchestrating the 2009 killings of Novack's husband, Ben Novack Jr., and his 86-year-old mother, Bernice Novack.

Ben Novack was the son of the man who built the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, a celebrity hangout in the 1950s and '60s that appeared in the movies "Scarface" and "Goldfinger."

The government said Novack suspected her husband would leave her and wanted to ensure she would inherit the family estate. The sentencing memo says her motives were "hatred, greed and vengeance."

The fatal beatings, carried out by hit men, were especially brutal, with specific directions from Novack and Veliz, according to testimony.

Bernice Novack was repeatedly bludgeoned in the teeth and head with a plumber's wrench at her Fort Lauderdale home. Two months later, Ben Novack was pummeled with barbells and had his eyes sliced with a utility knife in his hotel room in Rye Brook, N.Y.

The killings "involved particularly cruel, sadistic and gratuitous savagery seldom seen in the annals of crime," Jacobson wrote. He said Novack and Veliz "engaged in the very worst criminal conduct imaginable."

In addition to the murder charge, the defendants were convicted of domestic violence, stalking, money laundering and witness tampering.

The prosecution also asked the judge to fine Novack as much as $250,000 for each of the 12 counts on which she was convicted.

Novack's lawyer, Howard Tanner, said he would not respond to the memo until later this week. A call to Veliz's attorney, Michael Keesee, was not immediately returned.