Difficult details revealed in opening of Corasanti manslaughter trial

Apr 26, 2012

The trial of Amherst Dr. James Corasanti is underway in an Erie County Courtroom.

Corasanti is accused in the hit and run death of  18-year-old Alexandria Rice.  The young woman was struck by Corasanti’s BMW while she skateboarded along Heim Road last July. 

Opening statements were delivered Thursday morning, revealing some grisly details. 

Prosecutor James Bargnesi told jurors Corasanti left the scene after hitting Rice,

"Leaving Alix 167 feet away from where she was blasted off of her sneakers and  off her longboard.  The reprehensible and criminal choice to run away," said Bargnesi in his opening statement to jurors.

But defense attorney Joel Daniels told jurors the teen’s death was an accident and she could not be saved

"He would have gone over to that young lady.  He would have done anything he could to save her life.  But you know, one of the sad ironies of this case, and there are a lot of them, it wouldn't have mattered. This is a tough one and we know it. There was nothing anyone could have done to save Alix Rice," said Daniels. 

Daniels said Corasanti never saw Rice and was unaware of of what he had hit and continued home.  

The prosecution says Corasanti had been drinking and tried to cover up  evidence. Corasanti is expected to be called to testify at his trial. 

You can click the above audio to listen to a portion of the opening statements delivered to the jury Thursday morning.