A West Seneca man pleaded not guilty Monday to drunken driving charges from the Nov. 27 crash that killed West Seneca Democratic Chairman Daniel S. McParlane.
State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia ordered Robert J. Styn Jr., 62, to return to court April 2 with his attorney, James M. Vallone, to enter a guilty plea or to set a date for a trial.
Styn remains free on his own recognizance and under orders not to drink or drive. Vallone said his client surrendered his driver’s license after his arrest.
After a Town Court session last month, Vallone said his client would go to trial unless he gets a deal that excludes jail time.
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said Monday that prosecutors are not discussing any plea deal for Styn. “He can plead guilty to the original charges or go to trial,” Sedita said.
Styn faces charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and DWI – misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
The aggravated DWI charge was filed because Styn registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.21 percent, more than twice the state’s legal limit, after the two-car crash just after midnight on Indian Church Road near Mineral Springs Road.
Styn was heading west on Indian Church Road when McParlane, 33, an Erie County sheriff’s deputy, spun into Styn’s lane, according to West Seneca police accident reports.
The indictment says McParlane was driving east on Indian Church when he lost control of his vehicle and swerved into Styn’s path. Styn’s car smashed into the passenger side of McParlane’s vehicle.
McParlane, who was not wearing a seat belt, was unconscious and bleeding severely when rescuers freed him from his car, and he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Hours before the crash, McParlane had attended a meeting of the Erie County Democratic town chairmen’s association in a Lackawanna bar and met afterward with then-Erie County Legislator-elect Patrick B. Burke in a South Buffalo pub.