PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Elaine Goller hopes she never has to see Paul Pinkston in person again. She was back in a Pinellas County Courtroom to testify in his resentencing hearing.
Goller is one of two real estate agents a jury convicted him of terrorizing in June of 2015. In Goller’s case, she met Pinkston to show him a home for sale. Once in the home, Pinkston held her at gunpoint, handcuffed her, and called her husband demanding a $50,000 ransom.
Later that day, he held another agent at gunpoint, but was scared off when other realtors arrived.
A jury found Pinkston guilty of two robbery charges and one kidnapping charge and a judge sentenced him to 20 years in Florida State Prison in 2016. But Pinkston appealed the sentence because there was some disagreement about the language that could have peeled years off that sentence.
Goller testified that what he took from her, cannot be replaced.
“He stole my joy, it’s not something that I can purchase,” said Goller. “I don’t know how much peace of mind is worth. The entire realtor community has remained vigilant about this case.”
“It felt like we were being hunted,” said Goller. “He found my advertisement, called me up, lured me, premeditated obviously because he had gone and bought things to use.”
Pinkston is a former decorated Air Force major, who had no prior criminal record before that day in June of 2015. Pinkston’s wife, Carol, testified that he is a family man and a great dad.
When Judge Michael Andrews asked her what happened that particular day, she couldn’t answer.
“He has so many good qualities, that um, it makes it to the point of being almost unbelievable,” said Pinkston. “A very unusual circumstance.”
The judge resentenced Pinkston to 20 years in Florida State Prison, with a 10-year minimum mandatory. This means, with credit for time served and good behavior, he will likely serve about 17 years.
Goller says she hopes this is the last time she has to testify in this case.
“It brings it all back. It’s like having PTSD,” said Goller. “I didn’t acknowledge that at first, but it is.”