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Jury Doesn’t Buy Tinkle Defense


04/24/2014

District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 38 year-old Winston Pendarvis of Boston, Massachusetts, was found guilty, as charged, of Burglary in the Second Degree after a week-long jury trial before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.

On August 15, 2013, Pendarvis surreptitiously entered a home on Lincoln Parkway in the City of Buffalo. Unbeknownst to him, the residents were inside, causing Pendarvis to flee. Responding to the victims’ distressed 911 call, Buffalo Police Officers apprehended Pendarvis minutes later and several blocks away.  He denied ever being in the house, stating he was merely “out for a walk.”

At trial, the defendant’s so-called “theory of defense” changed. Instead of sticking with the “he was never inside the house” story, defense counsel  suggested that Pendarvis entered the residence merely to relieve himself.  The jury deliberated for less than an hour, causing one veteran courthouse observer to wryly muse, “After all, the call of nature, not the desire to steal, seems like the more plausible reason to break into a Lincoln Parkway residence, doesn’t it?”  

Pendarvis was remanded into custody pending his June 10, 2014 sentencing, where he faces a minimum of 3½ years maximum of 15 years in state prison. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Seth Molisani and Sydney Probst, who are assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.