Email to a friend

Associate Lori Hoffman Esq. analyzes the plea deal in connection to a fatal West Seneca crash


Man makes plea deal in connection to fatal crash

By Lou Raguse, News 4 Reporter
Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 12:56 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A man made a plea deal in court Wednesday morning, in connection to a crash that killed Erie County Sheriff’s deputy and well-known political leader, Daniel McParlane. Robert Styn pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor DWI counts. In return, Styn will not go to jail.

Styn was never charged with causing McParlane’s death, and now he will likely be sentenced similarly as anyone else convicted of misdemeanor aggravated DWI.

It was a stormy November night when West Seneca democratic chair and Erie County Deputy Daniel McParlane spun out on Indian Church Road, crossed the center line, and was broadsided by a pickup truck driven by Robert Styn.

Styn’s blood alcohol content was point 21, nearly three times the legal limit.

Styn was charged with two counts of misdemeanor dwi.

Lori Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney unaffiliated with this case. She says many people assume, in a fatal drunk driving crash, that the drunk driver caused the death.

“Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes that’s not true,” said Hoffman, of Tully Rinckey PLLC.

Hoffman says for someone to be charged with vehicular manslaughter, it’s not enough that he’s drunk.

“If you have a situation where you have someone that has been charged with driving while intoxicated, like in this situation, but there doesn’t seem to be proof that it was the driver’s fault that the accident occurred, then the charge cannot be levied and cannot be proven,” Hoffman said.

While pleading guilty in State Supreme Court, Judge Russell Buscaglia asked the assistant district attorney whether the same accident would have happened even if Styn was sober.

The prosecutor answered yes.

And with that, the judge was willing to accept a plea agreement that included no jail time for styn. He will likely face 3 years probation at his june sentencing.

“It’s actually a fairly standard sentencing,” Hoffman said.

The prosecutor added she talked to McParlane’s family about the plea and they were OK with it.

Styn, a volunteer firefighter, did not try to leave the scene of the accident. In court his lawyer said he tried to help McParlane.

McParlane’s toxicology results were never made public because Styn was not charged with his death.


Attorney Locator

Find an attorney near you.
Click below.

Contact Us

  • Tully Rinckey announces new hires and promotion

    Derrick T. Hogan was promoted to senior associate, overseeing the criminal defense practice in Albany. Hogan joined as a law clerk in 2009. Morgan Smith joined as recruitment manager. Smith has more than 14 years of staffing and recruitment experience and previously …

  • Albany Police Officer Arrested

    Officer Caught on Camera Slamming 15-Year old Girl Albany Police Chief Brendan Cox says on July 26th, Officer Ervis Miftari was called to St. Anne Institute, a rehabilitation center for troubled girls, to help with one of the residents, who …

Read All

  • Free Download: EEOC 2016 Update White Paper

    You Could Be Sharing Confidential Info and Not Even Know It Tully Rinckey’s white paper details the Equal Employment Opportunity’s (“EEOC”) nationwide change to procedure that has gone largely unnoticed. The new procedure applies to Charges filed on or after …

Read All

Read All

  • Tully Rinckey PLLC Binghamton Office Ribbon Cutting

    You’re Invited: Tully Rinckey PLLC Binghamton Office Ribbon Cutting Tully Rinckey PLLC, an upstate-wide coast-to-coast 70 attorney full-service law firm, is holding a ribbon cutting for its new office space at 4100 Vestal Road, Suite 104, Vestal, NY 13850 on …

Read All