Seconds before an ex-Holtsville man’s trial began Tuesday on charges of trying to kidnap his former attorney, the defendant tried to cut ties with his current lawyer.
Glenn Terry, 49, is charged with second-degree attempted kidnapping of Frank Tinari — now the chairman of the Suffolk Conservative Party — and several weapons charges. He faces 34 2⁄3 to 44 years in prison if convicted.
Terry 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 a civil suit in 2008, but Terry told police he thought he deserved $100 million.
As the trial was about to begin, Terry told state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho that his criminal defense lawyer, Marc Gann of Mineola, had misled him about the cost of the trial. He was willing to pay the fee of $3,500 a day for three or four days, but said he was shocked during jury selection to hear the trial could take more than two weeks.
“I don’t have that kind of money,” Terry said.
“I’m going to stop you right there,” Camacho said, reassuring Terry that Gann was a good lawyer who would defend him well. “We’re going to proceed.”
“Mr. Gann is fired,” Terry blurted out.
“Then you’ll represent yourself,” Camacho said. Terry replied that he wanted time to get another lawyer.
“No,” Camacho said and turned to a court officer. “Let’s get the jury.”
“I don’t feel safe,” Terry said.
Camacho ignored him and the jury entered the Central Islip courtroom, with Gann still Terry’s lawyer.
In his opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Peter Timmons told jurors that Terry had been unhappy with the money Tinari got after settling a suit. In that suit, Terry claimed he got scalded after falling into a bath because his hot water system was improperly installed. Timmons said Terry called and visited Tinari repeatedly after the 2008 settlement, hoping to reopen the case, but Tinari said the case was finished.
Terry moved to Port Charlotte, Florida, in March 2014 and almost immediately began plotting to get back at Tinari, Timmons said. Terry bought a handgun and two kinds of stun guns, and started researching Tinari, Timmons said. A forensic search of Terry’s computer showed he searched for “how to knock someone out.”
Then in March 2015, Terry sold his Florida home, packed his belongings, his weapons and his dog into his 2001 Lexus and drove back to Suffolk County, checking into the La Quinta hotel in Bohemia.
Gann told jurors it wasn’t what it looked like. Despite the weapons, Gann said law enforcement “made quite an assumption, quite a leap — that Mr. Terry actually intended to do this.”
There’s no proof he wanted to kidnap Tinari, Gann said. Instead, Gann said his client merely wanted to talk to Tinari and “get some kind of satisfaction.”
That’s not what Terry told police after they pulled him over for traffic infractions, they testified Tuesday.
Officer Michael Richardsen said he and his partner, Michael Aulivola, noticed a Taser cartridge on the dashboard. They asked if he had a Taser, and he gave it to them, and when they asked if he had any other weapons, he said he also had a loaded 9-mm pistol. As they were arresting him, Richardsen said he wouldn’t stop talking.
“He kept trying to explain why he had the weapons,” Richardsen said.
Aulivola testified that Terry elaborated while Richardsen was calling detectives.
“He felt the attorney was corrupt,” Aulivola said. “He felt all attorneys and judges were corrupt. ... He spoke of how he felt Frank Tinari threw his case away. He was going to Tase him, duct-tape his mouth and handcuff him. He said he was eventually going to call the police, because he need the police to hear his story.”
Terry showed him his scars from the scalding, Aulivola said.
“He said the emotional scars never heal, and he lives it every day,” Aulivola said.