A former juror in the trial of Dr. James Corasanti is headed to jail. James Jankowiak Jr. has faced two drunk driving charges since the trial ended.
Jankowiak Jr. received a 30-day jail sentence, which will be followed by three years of probation.
Orchard Park police arrested Jankowiak in October, on the same night he was found not guilty of the first DWI charge. The judge in that case instead convicted him of the lesser-charge of driving impaired.
Orchard Park Town Justice Lynne Keane said the proximity of the two arrests show Jankowiak did not take drunk driving seriously. That’s why she gave him jail time.
Jankowiak’s lawyer, Michael Bly Santa-Maria said the sentence is harsh, because defendants very rarely receive jail time for a first-time misdemeanor DWI conviction. He wouldn’t say whether he thinks the fact Jankowiak served on the Corasanti jury affected the judge’s decision.
“I am not going to speculate as to motivations of them. All i can say is facts are facts. And i’ve been doing this a long time and I do this all the time, and I’ve never seen this result,” Santa-Maria said.
Jankowiak claims he was driving that night because he picked up his girlfriend who was more intoxicated than he was. He disputes the District Attorney’s claim that he was out celebrating his previous not-guilty verdict.
Jankowiak ended up serving 15 days in jail on his driving impaired conviction, because his sentencing came after he was already arrested again.
Jankowiak did not take his second DWI charge to trial, instead pleading guilty.