Corasanti Defense Asks For Lesser Charges

11:42 PM, May 24, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y.- After five weeks of testimony, over 40 witnesses and 400 pieces of evidence, the case against Doctor James Corasanti will soon be in the hands of the jury.

After the long holiday weekend, the defense and prosecution will deliver their closing arguments.

On Thursday, Corasanti with his attorneys, and prosecutors Chris Belling, James Bargnesi and Kelley Omel were in court, but the jury was not.

They met with Judge Sheila Ditullio to discuss how she would charge the jury. In affect, what they (the jury) have to decide when they ultimately deliberate this case.

The defense asked that jurors be allowed to consider lesser charges for two of the three counts Corasanti faces.

Attorney Joel Daniels made a motion that on the count of 2nd degree Vehicular Manslaughter, the jury can also consider the lesser counts of DWI or Driving while impaired. That request was granted.

On the count of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, Daniels asked for a lesser charge consideration of leaving the scene of a property damage accident.  The request was denied.

Neither side asked for a lesser charge option for the 2nd degree manslaughter count.

Daniels also asked that the jury be instructed that for a guilty verdict on vehicular manslaughter, they must find that intoxication was the sole cause of the Alix Rice's death, Judge Ditullio also granted that request.

However, Judge DiTullio denied a similar defense motion, asking that for a guilty verdict on the manslaughter count, the jury needs to find that the defendant's criminal recklessness was the sole cause of death. Judge Ditullio told Daniels that this is "case of criminal liability".

One other thing that the defense asked, was for Judge Ditullio include in her charging of the jury, an explanation that the defendant's wife, has been absent from the courtroom because she was a potential witness in the case, and to not draw any conclusions from the absence. That motion was denied.

Both sides, and the jury will be back in court Tuesday morning for the start of closing arguments.

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