Jurors recall millionaire hotel heir murder 5 years later

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WHITE PLAINS -

Monday marked five years since the end of the most explosive trial in Westchester history, involving the murder-for-hire of a millionaire hotel heir and the conviction of his former stripper wife.

In an ‘Only on 12’ report, News 12 spoke to some of the men and women who sealed Narcy Novack's fate.

Legendary hotel heir Ben Novack Jr. was discovered bound, tortured and beaten to death inside the elegant Rye Town Hilton in 2009. 

It took a team of detectives and federal agents spread across the eastern seaboard a year to crack the case, but by 2012, Novack’s wife Narcy was on trial at the Federal Courthouse in White Plains.

Don Lermer, a CEO from Rockland, served as juror No. 3. He said he took his job very seriously and tried to do the best he could.

“It was a real-life soap opera with many, many cliffhangers,” says Lermer.

The tangled web of kinky sex, murder and betrayal would unravel during a circus-like nine-week trial that saw Ben Novack’s tattooed porn star mistress, a one-eyed hitman hired by Narcy Novack and a football legend take the stand.

Linda Common, a Rockland middle school librarian, served as juror No. 11. She says that the stress was just overwhelming at times.

“I actually got a medical note to release me because I developed chronic hives. I was in urgent care twice getting Benadryl shots. A doctor said, ‘Are you under stress?’… I never gave it because I wanted to see it through,” says Common.

Aro Edwards, juror No. 1, served as the jury foreman and described the deliberations as excruciating with raised voices.

“Everyone had to go to neutral corners to take a breath,” says Edwards.

In the end, the jury found the stripper-turned-millionaire’s wife guilty of 13 out of 14 charges against her, ensuring a life sentence. She is serving her time at the Tallahassee Federal Prison in Florida.

Edwards, Common and Lermer believe that she was appropriately charged.

The legal battle over the inheritance of Ben Novack’s millions continues in court.

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