A 19-year-old homeless Manhattan man says he was defending himself from an unwanted sexual attack when he fatally stabbed a 66-year-old former teacher.
Dylan Lentini pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of murder and robbery in the death of Michael Wimbert, who was killed in his West Nyack, New York, apartment on December 1, the Journal News reports.
Prosecutor Dominic Crispino called the crime “particularly vicious and heinous,” and said Wimbert was stabbed about two dozen times, including in the throat and neck, the newspaper reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lentini Answered a Craigslist Ad Posted by Wimbert & Was Living With Him
Dylan Lentini met the victim, Michael Wimbert, on November 27 after answering a Craigslist ad for a roommate posted by the former teacher, the Journal News reports.
Clarkstown police said Lentini was living at Wimbert’s Demarest Avenue apartment during the days leading up to the killing.
2. He Says He Was Sleeping When Wimbert Tried to Molest Him
Lentini’s lawyer, Walter Sakowski, said in court that the 19-year-old was sleeping when he was “the victim of an unwanted sexual attack and he defended himself,” according to the Journal News.
Sakowski said they are investigating claims of other sexual abuse at Wimbert’s home.
Lentini was charged with second-degree murder. He was found at the home with the alleged murder weapon, a carving knife, and a knife wound to his right hand. Officers were called to the house by a neighbor after a young man ran out of the house yelling “Call the hospital! Call 911!” police said.
3. He Moved to New York From California & Was Living at a Shelter
Lentini is originally from West Sacramento, California, according to his Facebook page. He went to Vacaville High School and then studied mathematics at Solano Community College.
He had been living at a homeless shelter in Manhattan, CBS New York reports.
4. A Co-Worker at a Call Center Says Lentini Has a Drinking Problem
Lentini was working at Opinion Access Corporation, a Long Island City call center, according to his Facebook page.
A co-worker told the Journal News that Lentini was a hard worker, but had a drinking problem. She said Lentini had saved up money to look for an apartment because he did not want to live at the homeless shelter.
The athletic director at his high school told the newspaper Lentini had disciplinary and drug problems.
5. Wimbert Was a Teacher for Special Needs Students
Wimbert worked with students with special needs, the Journal News reports.
His landlord said the 66-year-old man was recovering from surgery and was having trouble finding paid work.
Wimbert’s brother, Henry, told the Clarkstown Daily Voice he was a “very kind person.”
He also owned a tropical fish store called Mr. Fish in Nanuet, New York, from 1996 to 2004, the Daily Voice reported. He was divorced in 2000. He worked at Mount Pleasant Cottage School Union Free Schools in 2011 and 2012.
Tim Englert, who volunteered with Wimbert on the Palisades Interstae Park Commission, said, Wimbert was “an eccentric,” and seemed to be a lonely man.
“He moved on and I never heard from him again,” Englert todl the Daily Voice. “I saw his name in the paper and I knew it was him. What a tragedy.”