Mystery surrounds motive of alleged murderer
BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
Less than 24 hours after the gruesome discovery of Michael Wimbert, 66, found stabbed to death inside his West Nyack apartment very early Tuesday, Dylan Lentini, 19, a homeless man who matched the description of a man reportedly seen fleeing the scene, was charged with murder in the second degree.
A neighboring tenant at 68 Demarest Ave. called 911 at approximately 1:45 a.m. Tuesday after he reportedly saw a young man exit the second floor apartment screaming, “Call the hospital! Call 911!” Clarkstown Police found Lentini on West Nyack Road, a short distance from the three-unit apartment house. Lentini’s last known residence was a NYC homeless shelter named Covenant House.
Lentini was found on foot on the dark road and his right hand was bloody from a cut that required 7-8 stitches at Nyack Hospital. Blood was found on the doorknob of Wimbert’s apartment entrance and Clarkstown police forced their way inside to find a lifeless Wimbert with multiple stab wounds on the floor.
Rockland Paramedics responded and pronounced Wimbert dead at the scene.
Clarkstown Detectives and Crime Scene Unit began a joint investigation with officials from the Rockland Medical Examiner’s office and Rockland District Attorney’s office reporting to the West Nyack apartment house.
The alleged murder weapon was recovered on Lentini and described by authorities to be “a typical kitchen knife, a typical carving knife.”
Lentini was held for questioning by Clarkstown Police and was arrested later that day.
“This is so scary. This is such a quiet neighborhood, I can’t believe that something like this could happen here,” said a neighbor who went by the name of Joanna.
Wimbert moved to the apartment about 13 years ago after a divorce. He reportedly sold his fish store that he operated on Route 59 around the same time. In an interview with local media, Wimbert’s landlord John Wall said the victim was employed in various jobs over the years and was a “calm and caring soul…I presume [he]might have been helping this young man.”
Around 3:30 p.m. Dylan Lentini stood in front of Judge David Ascher with his right hand bandaged and was charged with murder in the second. Lentini was remanded to Rockland County Jail pending a Grand Jury hearing.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe spoke with the press, stating “I would like to commend Chief Michael Sullivan and Det. Lieutenant Dietrich for another outstanding police investigation…Today it’s all about collaboration. We work with them from the inception of the investigation and they continue to work through the termination of the prosecution.”
Around 5 p.m. Tuesday the house at 68 Demarest Ave. was still taped off with yellow crime scene tape and the door leading to the second floor apartment was still opened with police activity on the grounds.
Article Correction: The suspected murder weapon was found on Dylan Lentini, not inside the home as initially reported.
Update: According to cops, Dylan Lentini answered a Craigslist ad posted by Wimbert seeking a roommate. Lentini made arrangements with Wimbert to be picked up at a White Plains train station on Fri Nov. 27. Prior to this Craigslist ad, police state there was no relationship between Wimbert, the victim, and Lentini, his alleged killer.
Update: Dylan Lentini was indicted by a Grand Jury at the Rockland County Courthouse on murder and robbery charges after giving his testimony on Friday.