Michael E. Barron, 40, of Courier Boulevard, Kenmore, was removed from the jury hearing Dr. James G. Corasanti's fatal hit-and-run trial in the wake of his arrest early Thursday morning by Town of Tonawanda police for alleged aggravated drunken driving and traffic offenses.
A civilian called police after observing Barron driving peculiarly at about 12:10 a.m. on Elmwood Avenue. Barron was arraigned in Town of Tonawanda Court later in the morning.
Barron wanted to stay on the jury, and his arrest did not automatically require his removal, a source told The Buffalo News. Initially, he told court officials he had car trouble, and he declined an offer for a ride to the courthouse, without mentioning his arrest.
His responses to the court's questions about what happened are what determined his removal, the source said.
Prosecutors wanted him removed because his arrest had put them in an awkward position of their office prosecuting a juror they counted on being fair and impartial in the Corasanti case. Prosecutors say Corasanti was driving while drunk when he struck skateboarder Alexandria "Alix" Rice.
-- Patrick Lakamp and Matt Gryta