An ex-Holtsville man charged with trying to kidnap his former attorney — Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Frank Tinari — is having problems with his current lawyer as his trial gets underway in Central Islip.
Glenn Terry, 49, is charged with second-degree attempted kidnapping and several weapons charges. He is accused of driving from Florida in March 2015 with a plan to stuff Tinari into his trunk, take him to his father’s basement in Holtsville and soak him in gasoline. Tinari won Terry a $450,000 settlement in 2008, but Terry told police he thought he deserved much more.
Terry sued Danisi Fuel Oil Company in 2002 after he fell into a bathtub at his home and got scalded. He claimed the hot-water system was improperly installed.
Just before jury selection began Monday, defense attorney Marc Gann of Mineola asked State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho to let him off the case because of a “complete breakdown in communication, other than him saying I lie to him.”
Gann said the lack of communication has made it impossible to discuss possible defenses or strategies in the case. If convicted, Terry faces a maximum of 34 2⁄3 to 44 years in prison.
“Mr. Terry refuses to discuss the substance of the allegations,” Gann said. “He doesn’t trust me, and he wants to be compensated for all this. I’ve taken that as a veiled threat to me.”
Terry says he has not even been indicted, Gann said, and accuses the attorney of splashing his client’s name on the front page of Newsday. Terry accuses Gann of “working for them” — meaning the Suffolk district attorney’s office — and getting cases referred to him from prosecutors, Gann said.
“All he wants is compensation,” Gann said. “I have never had a relationship with a client like that I’ve had with Mr. Terry, your honor.”
Camacho told Terry and Gann the trial would go forward with Gann serving as defense attorney. Camacho advised Terry to cooperate with his lawyer.
“Mr. Gann is a very good lawyer,” Camacho told Terry. “He’s going to be in a much more difficult position if you don’t talk to him. ... If you don’t, it’s not a good thing for you.”
With that, jury selection began.
During questioning of potential jurors, Assistant District Attorney Peter Timmons noted people may sometimes feel cheated by professionals. “But you’re not allowed to take the law into your own hands and do whatever you want,” he said.
Gann suggested during his questioning that police could have jumped to the wrong conclusion about Terry’s intentions.
“Sometimes the police assume things,” Gann said. “Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes people see what they want to see.”
At a pretrial hearing, police said Terry told them what he was going to do to Tinari after they pulled him over for traffic violations and asked why he had a Taser cartridge in his car.
He told them he also had a 9-mm pistol, and then police found pepper spray, duct tape, handcuffs, a gas can, an assault knife, court documents, a megaphone and $5,000 in cash, which Terry told them would be used for bail if necessary.
Terry is being held on bail of $5 million cash or $10 million bond.