Corasanti Trial Begins With Emotional Testimony

11:53 AM, Apr 27, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY-- Following opening statements, the Prosecution began calling their first witnesses in the trial against, Dr. James Corasanti

WEB EXTRAClick here to see a photo gallery from court

Dr. James Corasanti is accused of hitting Alexandria Rice with his car, and then leaving her to die on Heim Road in East Amherst last July.

Dr. Corasanti is charged with vehicular manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, leaving a deadly accident scene and tampering with physical evidence.

The Jury heard from four witnesses Thursday, including Alexandria's boyfriend, co-worker, a country club bartender, and Alix's father. She was living with him at the time of her death, and on the stand, he called her "talented, bright, and very loving."

Richard Rice broke down on the stand when he recalled the moment he got the call from Amherst Police about the accident on July 8th when Alix was riding her longboard home from work. He said, "I asked if she was OK and they wouldn't give me an answer. I asked again 'is she OK'...she said 'well...she has a pulse.'"

He broke down again when he described the way she looked on the hospital table. He said, "she was laying there, apparatus in her mouth, hair was matted. She looked little. Her back looked bruised." At that point the defense objected, the judge called the attorneys to the stand, and after a short discussion, the emotional testimony stopped.

On cross-examination, Defense Attorney Joel Daniels had Mr. Rice describe the nearly seven-mile journey Alix had to take from Bocce Pizza, where she worked, to home. He said they agreed she would get a ride home that night. He didn't know she would be taking the longboard. Daniels asked, "Do you approve of your daughter riding that long board all the way home from work?" Mr. Rice responded, "I can't answer that- she relied on it from transportation . She rode it all the time."

We also heard from a co-worker of Alix's at Bocce's Pizza on Hopkin's Road who also called himself a riding partner. He said "I learned from Alix. She had great control of her longboard."

On cross-examination defense attorney Tom Burton asked the witness "Did you see Alix smoke marijuana?" And he responded, "Not on that night. Other nights, yes."
He went on to testify, "Every couple weeks I smoked with her, usually after work."

The court also heard from Kathy Cahill, the Transit Valley Country Club bartender who served Dr. and Mrs. Corasanti at the Martini Golf Tournament the night of the crash. She's known the couple for 10 years.

She said she personally served the doctor three Captain Morgan & Diet Pepsi's and a B&B Stinger cocktail, and brought a bottle of champagne and a high end bottle of chardonnay to his table. Several other drinks went to Mrs. Corasanti and table but it's unclear whether the doctor drank them. 

The prosecution claims Dr. corasanti had a blood alcohol level of .10 five hours after the crash.

Four witnesses were called in about 3 hours today. The prosecution alone has a list of 80 potential witnesses they could call.  It is unclear how many witnesses the defense will call, but Dr. Corasanti himself will take the stand. The trial is expected to last about a month.

Testimony continues Friday.

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