BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
Dylan Lentini, a transplant from Sacramento, CA, was living in NYC homeless shelters before the Dec. 1 late night slay of Michael Wimbert, 66. Lentini is now temporarily residing at Rockland County Jail in New City as he awaits trial for the killing that has sparked much water cooler talk and online controversy.
Carol McIlmurray sat down face-to-face with Dylan Lentini at Rockland County Jail in two separate interviews to speak about the night that ended in murder charges. Wimbert, the victim, was a Rockland man who lived in Pomona with his ex-wife until they divorced in 2012. Michael Wimbert was a tropical fish store operator on Route 59 and for two years, Wimbert was a teaching assistant for students with developmental issues in the Mount Pleasant Union School System in Westchester.
Lentini,19, says he responded to a Craigslist ad seeking a roommate in Wimbert’s home. In the interview, Lentini stated he only had a 150 dollars and he was in desperate needed a place to live. He was working a telephone sales job in Queens and could he no longer afford to stay in New York City. Cops say Lentini met Michael Wimbert on Nov 27 at the White Plains train station for the first time after responding to the Craigslist ad seeking “a young male 18-25” to live in his upstairs West Nyack apartment.
On Dec. 1, police found Dylan Lentini walking down W. Nyack Road with his right hand slashed open. Police detained Lentini as emergency service personnel responded to 66 Demarest Road to find a lifeless Michael Wimbert in a pool of his own blood. Lentini told police that Wimbert sexually assaulted him during his three-day stay at the three-tenant apartment house. Lentini told cops that Wimbert made him to perform oral sex multiple times and at one point Wimbert raped him by means of sodomy.
Lentini says he has always maintained self-defense as the one and only reason the Dec 1 stabbing death occurred.
“I was trying to protect myself and this guy just wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was attacking me, I didn’t know what else to do,” Lentini said.
Law enforcement asserted Wimbert was killed for his money. They found $140 dollars on Lentini after he fled the West Nyack home. Yet cops also say Lentini left the home on foot yelling “Call 911,” as a neighbor looked on from the porch.
Lentini continued in his jail interview to explain his version of events to the RCT. “When I was testifying, the DA asked me how many times I stabbed him. I said, I don’t know. He said to guess. I said I didn’t count. Apparently people count how many times they stab someone… and he told me to guess. I said, I don’t know, 12. When he told me 24 times, I was blown away. I mean, I couldn’t believe it because, this is very important, every time I stabbed, he was coming at me. There was not one stab where he was lying on the ground, each and every time I stabbed him he was still attacking me.”
Lentini was indicted by a Grand Jury on four counts of robbery in the first charges and three counts of murder in the second. Overseeing Justice William A. Kelly dropped the four robbery and two of the murder charges, leaving a single count of murder in the second to be tried in court.
“This makes our theory, that he killed the deceased in self-defense the most plausible and only likely theory we have,” stated Kenneth Murphy to the RCT, second appointed counsel for Lentini.
Dylan Lentini is represented by public defenders, Walter Sakowsoi and Murphy. His next appearance date is June 1.