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Long IslandCrime

Jury hears closing arguments in Frank Tinari lawyer-kidnap case

Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Frank Tinari waits to

Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Frank Tinari waits to testify at the trial of his former client, Glenn Terry in Central Islip, Oct. 18, 2016. Terry is accused of trying to kidnap Tinari because he wasn't happy with how a civil case turned out. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Just because a former Holtsville man drove away from a Central Islip office building without stuffing his attorney — Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Frank Tinari — in the trunk doesn’t mean the man had abandoned his kidnapping plan, a Suffolk prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

“I don’t have to prove that he’s smart,” Assistant District Attorney Peter Timmons said of defendant Glenn Terry, 48. “I don’t have to prove that’s a good plan [he had], or a smart plan.”

But even if Terry did plot to kidnap Tinari, the fact that he drove off after an hour on March 27, 2015 shows that he didn’t act on it and can’t be guilty of second-degree attempted kidnapping, defense attorney Marc Gann of Mineola argued.

“He didn’t do anything,” Gann said. “If his plan was to kidnap Mr. Tinari, he would have done it.”

After closing arguments, the jury deliberated for almost an hour and a half without reaching a verdict. Jurors will return to state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho’s courtroom in Central Islip on Wednesday.

Terry, who is also charged with several weapons offenses, was pulled over for traffic offenses later the same day. Officers noticed a Taser cartridge in his car, and he told them he not only had a Taser, but also a loaded 9-mm pistol. Police later found a Zap stun gun, a Rambo knife, handcuffs, duct tape, binoculars, a gas can and a pile of papers outlining his anger at Tinari.

Terry hired Tinari to try his lawsuit against his oil company and a contractor, who he blamed for severe burns he’d received after falling into a bathtub full of scalding water. 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 a few years later, 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 told police he moved to Florida in 2014 primarily because he could legally buy weapons there that he would use to kidnap Tinari.

“There’s no question that Mr. Terry was a client who was an aggravation to Mr. Tinari. The police made this something more than it was” because of Tinari’s political stature, Gann told jurors.

For example, he said police focused on a gas can in Terry’s car to show that he intended to soak Tinari in gasoline after abducting him. But Gann said testing showed the can had never been used.

“That shows the length to which the police went to exaggerate and embellish the evidence,” Gann said.

As for the weapons, Gann said Terry had returned from Florida less than 20 hours before getting arrested and hadn’t had a chance to get rid of them.

But Timmons said if Terry wasn’t planning to kidnap Tinari, the weapons would have been in his storage facility or hotel room and not in his car.

Timmons noted that Terry telegraphed his intentions for months, both by moving to Florida and buying weapons and by writing to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and threatening to take the law into his own hands if his lawsuit wasn’t revived.

There was no innocent reason for Terry to go to Tinari’s office with a car full of weapons and wait outside for an hour, Timmons said.


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