A former dentist at the center of a bizarre case involving a love triangle, phony CIA documents and allegations of murder is due to be released from state prison in September after serving 18 months of a potential seven-year sentence.
On May 23, a three-member panel of the state parole board voted to approve parole based on “merit time” for Gilberto Nunez.
In February 2017 the 52-year-old, who once maintained a busy dental practice on Washington Avenue in Kingston, was sentenced to two and a third to seven years in state prison by County Court Judge Donald Williams. The sentencing followed Nunez’s conviction on a dozen felony charges related to a fraudulent insurance claim, false statements on a pistol permit application and a bizarre scheme to use poorly forged CIA documents to break up the marriage of his friend and romantic rival Thomas Kolman Jr of Saugerties.
In June 2016, Nunez was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Kolman, whose body was found in his car in a Town of Ulster parking lot on Nov. 29, 2011. Prosecutors argued that Kolman’s death was the result of poisoning with the powerful sedative midazolam. Nunez had access to the drug and police believed he dosed Kolman with it in a predawn meeting in the parking lot. Prosecutors argued that Nunez killed his friend after Kolman’s wife Linda threatened to break off the ongoing affair between her and Nunez. The defense argued that Kolman’s death was likely caused by heart failure brought on by sleep apnea and that Nunez was never present in the parking lot. Over the course of the two week trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that Nunez plotted to break up the marriage by telling Linda Kolman that he was a CIA agent and had obtained evidence through agency contacts that her husband was cheating on her. The jury in the case found Nunez not guilty of murder, but convicted him of forgery and other charges related to the deception.
At a second trial, Nunez was convicted of grand larceny and falsifying business records stemming from an inflated insurance claim following a fire in a building adjacent to his dental practice. A third trial resulted in a conviction for perjury for failing to disclose his other-than-honorable discharge from the Marine Corps on a pistol permit application.
At his sentencing hearing, Williams conceded that absent the murder allegations, the charges against Nunez would likely have been resolved with a plea deal to misdemeanor charges in a lower court. But Williams said he based his sentence on the totality of Nunez’s actions and the character revealed over the course of all three trials. Williams cited Nunez’s manipulative behavior and refusal to take responsibility for his actions in handing down a state prison sentence.
Nunez is eligible for release under the state prison system’s “meritorious release” program which allows inmates convicted of non-violent felonies to earn parole after completing four-fifths of their sentence. The program is available to inmates who maintain a satisfactory disciplinary record and make progress towards program goals. Nunez, who is housed at the Altona Correctional Facility in Clinton County, is slated to leave prison on Sept. 10. Nunez will remain on parole until October 2023. Nunez is unlikely to return to his dental practice. In handing down his sentence, Williams denied defense attorney’s motion for a certificate of release which would allow Nunez to maintain his license to practice. State records show the status of Nunez’s license as “revoked.”