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Corasanti Trial: Det. Testifies on Evidence Collected From Car

10:25 AM, May 14, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Corasanti Trial: Det. Testifies on Evidence Collected From

  • Amherst Police Detective Peter Crofut
    

BUFFALO, NY - The trial of Dr. James Corasanti wrapped up its 10th day.

Dr. Corasanti is charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with physical evidence after the fatal hit and run accident that killed 18-year-old Alexandria Rice last July on Heim Road in Amherst.

Friday morning, Amherst Detective Sergeant Michael Sliwa testified about evidence collected from Corasanti's home.

Sliwa testified that he went to Corasanti's home at 3am to search for evidence in the garage.

He said he noticed damaged on the right front end of the BMW.

On cross examination, defense attorney Tom Burton got the witness to admit that there was extensive evidence of biological flesh below the headlight. In fact that is where most of DNA was recovered.

The defense said in opening statements that Dr. Corasanti never saw Alix as she was riding the longboard in a crouched position.

Burton asked Sliwa, "At the moment of impact, did a sizable component of Ms. Rice hit the vehicle down low?" 

Det. Sgt. Sliwa answered, "Yes ."

It fortified the defense team's claims during opening statements that Corasanti didn't see Alix Rice when he struck and killed her.

Sliwa said he also found a dime-sized piece of flesh on the ground, about two-feet away from the car.

Sliwa said he also found a dime-sized piece of flesh on the ground, about two-feet away from the car.

With regard to flesh found in the garage, Prosector Kelley Omel asked Sliwa, "If it had dropped off the car, would it be [two] feet away in the garage?"

Det. Sgt. Sliwa replied, "Probably not."

Just before lunch, Amherst Police Detective Peter Crofut was on the witness stand. Detective Crofut did the DNA swabs of the vehicle inside and outside.

He testified that there were Corasanti's palm prints on the hood of the car, on top of Rice's biological material.

Prosecutor Chris Belling asked, "were you able to tell if the defendant's palm prints were placed on the vehicle after it struck and killed Alexandria Rice?"

The detective answered "yes."

He also testified about the rag found in the Corasanti's garbage tote days after the crash. 

 

 

 

Crofut said the rag with maggots on it was a microfiber detailing cloth, the size of a washcloth.

He testified that "it smelled like the decomposition of a human body."

He said there were matching rags of the same brand "Executive Choice" found in the trunk of the car.

Crofut testified that the smear marks and the circular pattern on the hood are consistent with what he has seen when a crime scene is cleaned up.

The prosecution maintains the doctor tried to remove evidence.

But during cross-examination, defense attorney Tom Burton said the rag may have taken on the smell of rotten milk or meat in the garbage, and the rag's lab results didn't show a connection to the car, Dr. Corasanti and most importantly Alix Rice. The Detective later testified that "there is no decomposing flesh that I found on the rag."

Earlier this week Crofut reviewed what is left of the vehicle at the Amherst PD and said he found more "more biological materials" in the ridges of the front frame and bumper area.

Earlier this week Crofut reviewed what is left of the vehicle at the Amherst PD and said he found more "more biological materials" in the ridges of the front frame and bumper area.

The prosecution told the Judge today that they expect to rest early next week. There are about 50 more witnesses on their list, but it's likely not all will be called. One of the prosecution witnesses is Dr. Corasanti's wife. The defense will present a case for jurors as soon as the prosecution wraps up. They have said that Dr. Corasanti will take the witness stand.

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