ORCHARD PARK (WKBW) John Jankowiak, one of the jurors in the James Corasanti manslaughter case was sentenced Monday to thirty days in jail and three years probation for his second drunk driving arrest in the past year.
The Corasanti juror was convicted on lesser charges of driving while impaired in October of last year. That same night, police arrested him again for swerving on the 219, and charged him with DWI.
The Orchard Park judge, citing the time frame of those charges as the reason behind that sentence. After court, Jankowiak's attorney continued to defend his client.
"I've never seen anyone on a second one, where there is no accident involved, there was nobody hurt, he was cooperative with the officers, in that particular situation, I've never seen anyone get 30 days, especially in light of the fact that he already got 15 days from the city court judge for the first one," Michael Bly Santa-Maria said.
So we asked the attorney if he believed the fact that Jankowiak was a juror in the highly publicized Corasanti case have any impact on today's sentencing?
"I'm not going to speculate as to the motivations of them, all I can say is that the facts are facts. And the fact is I've been doing this for a long time and I do this all the time. And I've never seen this result," Santa-Maria answered.
While he did not specifically blame the Corasanti connection as the reason for jail time, Santa-Maria said that if it did have an impact, that sets a dangerous precedent.
"What message does that send to all of us? If you get jury duty tomorrow and you go and serve, god forbid you acquit on that case, because for the rest of your life, the DA's office is going to come down harder on you?" the defense attorney stated.
Eyewitness News reached out, but the Erie County District Attorney's office did not have any comment on Monday's sentencing.