It was a beautiful day for drive-through justice Thursday at the Suffolk County courthouse.
Under a cloudless sky, the court stenographer sat in a padded office chair. The defendant, Bernard Musumeci, 44, sat in the passenger seat of his gray Ford F-350 truck, the window down. And the judge, wearing no jacket over his black robe, marked the 11 a.m. court appearance amid a backdrop of pine trees.
“The record should reflect that this arraignment is taking place in the parking lot of the courthouse,” said state Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle, adding, “because of the severe weight problem this defendant has.”
Although the arraignment was outdoors, Doyle prevented Newsday from photographing it.
In what legal observers in Suffolk say is quite possibly a first, Musumeci, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs about 500 pounds, was arraigned in the employee parking lot after his attorney told Doyle it was impossible for his client to walk into the building and ride the elevator up to Doyle’s third-floor courtroom.