WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Narcy Novack has called police “rat bastards,” publicly questioned whether her murdered husband is dead, complained about her 4:30 a.m. jail wake-up call and suffered a screaming meltdown that forced the judge to temporarily remove her from the courtroom.
During her nine-week murder trial, she was admonished by the judge for her outbursts and placed under a gag order for giving telephone interviews from jail.
And now, according to the U.S. Marshals, Novack has even threatened the person who has stuck by her through three years of unpredictable and often volatile behavior. Her own lawyer.
Novack apparently got spitting mad after her attorney, Howard Tanner, elected not to call a former Westchester County police detective as a witness for her defense. The witness, Alison Carpentier, had loaned Novack’s daughter, May Abad, $5,000 during the murder investigation to help relocate Abad after Abad’s life had been threatened. Tanner had wanted to show that Carpentier, who developed a friendship with Abad, was biased, tainting the prosecution’s case.
Carpentier, who subsequently was removed from the case and then retired, was one of the top investigators. Tanner decided not to call her after U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas ruled that his questioning would be limited and pointed out that prosecutors may be able to question her about evidence that would harm his case.
At the end of the court day Thursday, as Novack was within earshot of the marshals, she allegedly made a threatening remark about Tanner. It’s not clear what she said or whether the judge was informed of the threat.
Tanner, who grew up in Miami Beach, continued his defense Friday, after announcing that is client had decided not to take the witness stand.
His case concluded, and closing arguments could come as early as Monday. The case could go to the jury by Wednesday.
Narcy Novack, 55, and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, 58, are accused of masterminding the murders of Novack’s millionaire husband, Ben Novack Jr. and his mother, Bernice Novack, both heirs to the Fontainebleau hotel fortune.
Prosecutors allege that Narcy Novack wanted her husband and mother-in-law out of the way so that she could control the family’s estate, estimated at $10 million.
Novack Jr.’s bludgeoned body was discovered July 12, 2009, in a hotel room in Rye Brook, N.Y., where he had been managing a convention for his company, Convention Concepts Unlimited, based in Fort Lauderdale.
His mother, 86, was killed three months earlier in her Fort Lauderdale home.