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Fla. woman Narcy Novack charged in mother-in-law's murder, on top of killing of husband

Narcy Novack
CBS/WFOR
Woman already accused of arranging millionaire husband's death charged in mother-in-law's killing
Narcy Novack
CBS/WFOR

(CBS/WFOR/AP) NEW YORK - Narcy Novack, a Florida woman already accused of arranging her millionaire husband's death, has now been charged in connection with the murder of her mother-in-law two months earlier.

An updated federal indictment alleges that the 53-year-old arranged a fatal April 2009 attack on 87-year-old Bernice Novack.

Narcy Novack's brother, Cristobal Veliz, was also charged. They allegedly directed two other people, identified only as "co-conspirators," to assault the elderly woman at her home.

Federal prosecutors have made clear for months that they suspected Narcy Novack in her mother-in-law's killing. Bernice Novack's death was originally ruled an accident, despite her broken jaw and blood smeared on the walls of her Fort Lauderdale house. It was reclassified a homicide after Narcy Novack's arrest in the death of her husband, Ben Novack Jr.

Ben Novack was found beaten to death in July 2009 at the Hilton hotel in the New York City suburb of Rye Brook, where his company had organized an Amway convention. He was the son of the builder of the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.

Prosecutors say Narcy Novack let two men into the New York hotel suite she was sharing with her husband, where they beat him with dumbbells and bound him with duct tape. His eyes were allegedly cut with a utility knife on his wife's orders.

Prosecutors say Narcy Novack was eager to get her husband's estate, which has been estimated at $10 million. His mother's death added to his share.

Narcy Novack's lawyer, Howard Tanner, said the new indictment "does not change the fact that Narcy Novack had nothing to do with either the death of Ben Novack or the death of Bernice Novack."

The murder charges are incorporated within a new racketeering charge, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Previously, Novack and Veliz, 57, had been charged with interstate domestic violence and stalking. There is no stand-alone federal murder charge but federal prosecutors often take on murder cases by asserting interstate elements that give them jurisdiction.

The new indictment also alleges that Narcy Novack stole $95,000 from her husband's company and tried to launder the cash. It accuses her and Veliz of trying to pay a witness for false testimony. It also accuses Veliz of soliciting an associate to have one of the co-conspirators killed.

Novack and Veliz are scheduled for arraignment on Friday.

Narcy Novack's daughter, May Abad, stands to inherit the Ben Novack estate, which includes one of the world's largest collections of Batman memorabilia, if her mother is convicted.

Complete coverage of the Ben and Narcy Novack case on Crimesider