Accused of Wife's Murder-By-Arson
TWO MEN WHO WERE PARAMEDIC PARTNERS IN LONG ISLAND, New York, were arrested on Thursday and have been charged with murdering the wife of one of them in December 2008. Paul Novak, 45, and Scott Sherwood, 40, are accused of setting a house on fire four years ago with the intention of causing the death of Novak's estranged wife Catherine. Both men are charged with 2nd-degree murder and Novak also has 3rd-degree arson charged against him. Sherwood was arrested at his home in Lindenhurst, New York, and Novak was arrested at his current home in Palm Coast, Florida on an out-of-state warrant.
(Flagler County Sheriff)
The New York Post tells us:
The arrests Thursday seemed to confirm suspicions that first arose four years ago when a predawn fire killed Catherine Novak, 41, in her home in upstate Narrowsburg.
"There were members of the community who thought Paul was involved from the beginning," said the Rev. Phyllis Haynes, the Novaks’ pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
On Dec. 2, 2008, Paul Novak, who was in the middle of divorcing his wife, picked up his two young children from the family home in the small Catskills town and took them back to his residence on Long Island.
The next day, a blaze consumed the Narrowsburg house. Catherine Novak, a former local school-board member, was found dead in the basement, lying face up. Investigators at the time said they didn’t know how Novak ended up there since it didn’t appear she fell through a floor.
Despite a thorough investigation and after interviewing more than 100 people, the State Police could not find any evidence of foul play and had to leave the case laying open because the investigator felt that the case was "very bothersome because there are questions that we cannot answer."
There are some underlying facts that aid the suspicion including Sherwood's bankruptcy and divorce. The NY State Police are not saying why or what evidence led to getting these warrants.
Novak (l.) and Sherwood in happier times.
(photo by Robert Stridiron)
Paul Novak worked at Jamaica Hospital in Queens from 1991 to 2010. Sherwood, who joined the ambulance service in 1998, still works for the hospital but is now suspended.
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