The former Holtsville landscaper who told police that he was on his way to kidnap his attorney — Suffolk Conservative Party chairman Frank Tinari — and hide him in a basement had his attempted-kidnapping conviction vacated by a state appellate court this week.
The Appellate Division Second Department in Brooklyn left intact Glenn Terry's convictions of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and four lesser weapons charges. The decision cuts Terry's 30-year sentence in half, to 15 years.
Terry, 51, was convicted in 2016 as a result of a bizarre, obsessive, yearslong campaign to reopen a civil case he had settled with Tinari's help.
Jurors found that Terry planned for more than a year to grab Tinari, duct tape his mouth shut, stash him in his father's basement in Holtsville and douse him with gasoline. Prosecutors said Terry spent months planning and even moved to Port Charlotte, Florida, to acquire the weapons needed to abduct and terrorize his former lawyer.
There, he bought a Ruger 9-mm pistol, Taser electronic dart stun gun, Zap stun gun, Rambo combat knife, pepper spray, handcuffs and other kidnapping tools. The day after he returned to Long Island, on March 27, 2015, he went to Tinari's Central Islip office and laid in wait for him, but missed him, according to testimony.
A few hours later, Terry was on his way back to try again when police pulled him over for a traffic offense and spotted a Taser cartridge in the car. After police found the other weapons, Terry quickly told detectives what he planned to do, officers testified.
But the appellate court ruled there wasn't sufficient evidence to convict him of attempted kidnapping, because Terry never entered the office building and had no contact with Tinari at all. His statement to police when he was arrested wasn't enough to sustain an attempted kidnapping conviction, the court ruled.
Terry's appellate attorney, Roger Bennet Adler of Manhattan, said the court had rendered "substantial justice on behalf of Mr. Terry," and that he hoped his client would get the help he needs in prison for his physical and emotional problems.
Tinari thanked police and prosecutors for putting Terry behind bars. "I respect the court's decision," he said.
“While we are pleased that the court upheld the defendant’s convictions for the five weapons possession charges, we also maintain that the evidence established the attempted kidnapping, and we are reviewing whether to seek leave to appeal," said a spokeswoman for the Suffolk district attorney's office.
Terry had hired Tinari to try his lawsuit against his oil company and a contractor, whom he blamed for severe burns he'd received after falling into a bathtub full of scalding water in 2002. Even though the accident was 20 months and many showers after the hot-water system had been installed, Tinari negotiated a $450,000 settlement for Terry in 2008.
But Tinari testified that after Terry spent all the money, the former client began insisting that Tinari reopen the case. Tinari explained that was impossible after the case was settled. Terry then began showing up unannounced at his Central Islip office and sending increasingly belligerent letters, Tinari testified.
After the conviction, state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho said he believed Terry was "extremely dangerous."