Saying the hit-and-run accident which killed Alexandria Rice last summer showed a loophole in state law, the State Senate yesterday passed "Alix's Law" which makes drunken drivers responsible if they leave the scene.
Senator Patrick Gallivan says the trial showed Dr. James Corasanti had been drinking and told the jury he didn't realize he had knocked Rice off her skateboard and killed her and left the scene.
The senator, a former state trooper, says drunken drivers are more likely to leave the scene and less likely to realize they have hit someone.
Alexandria Rice's father Richard and her mother Tammy Schueler say they are "unhappy, shocked, dissatisfied [and] disappointed" with the verdict against the man who struck and killed their daughter.
Dr. James Corasanti was acquitted Wednesday of the most serious charges in the hit-and-run death of 18-year old Rice. The jurors cleared Corasanti on two manslaughter charges as well as tampering with evidence and leavening the scene of an accident without reporting, resulting in death. Corasanti was only found guilty on a DWI charge.
An Erie County Court jury has found Dr. James Corasanti not guilty on all of the major charges against him in the death of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice.
Jurors returned to the courtroom just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to issue their verdict.
The jury acquitted the 56-year-old Corasanti on second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, resulting death, and tampering with physical evidence.
Defense attorneys in the Dr. James Corasanti trial Thursday asked for reductions on two of the three counts to less serious charges.
Attorneys for both the prosecution and defense in the Dr. James Corasanti vehicular manslaughter trial met with Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio Thursday to discuss the charges against Corasanti.
The defense rested its case late Tuesday in the vehicular manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti of Amherst.
Closing arguments are slated for next Tuesday, May 29. A standard defense motion to dismiss the case was denied by Judge Sheila DiTullio.
In testimony Tuesday, an accident reconstruction consultant testified Corasanti wasn't driving as fast as police estimated the night he struck and killed Alexandria Rice, and that Rice was half-way out of the bike lane at the time.
The trial of Dr. James Corasanti enters its 16th day in Erie County Court today.
Corasanti finished testifying early Monday afternoon and then the jury heard a defense witness pick apart the results of Corasanti's blood test.
For Corasanti's second day on the stand, Alexandria Rice's father sat in his usual front row seat in the gallery wearing a neon green shirt that appeared close in color to the top Rice had on the night she was struck and killed by Corasanti's vehicle.
A defense request to dismiss all charges against Dr. James Corasanti of Amherst was denied Thursday. Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio denied the request by defense attorney Joel Daniels, who was seeking to have all five charges against the Amherst doctor dropped.
The prosecution rested its case late Thursday morning after calling its 37th witness to the stand. Corasanti is accused in the fatal hit-and-run of Alexandria Rice last July while she was riding on her longboard on Heim Road.
It is day ten of the vehicular manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti. The Amherst doctor is accused in the fatal July 8 hit and run of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice.
An Amherst Police officer testified Friday about collecting evidence at Corasanti's home. Detective Peter Crofut said one of the first things that was visible on the vehicle was a "palm print" on the hood of the car.