Crime

Crime

Victim of MLK Park shooting dies

May 16, 2012

One of the five people wounded during last weekend's shootings at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park has died.

Officials say 26 -year-old Marquayle Lee died late Tuesday night in the Erie County Medical Center intensive care unit. He had been in critical condition.

Lee was the most severely wounded of the group, which was having a picnic in the park Saturday night when a gunman opened fire.  Three other men and one woman were injured.

WBFO News file photo

The investigator who reconstructed the scene where 18-year-old Alexandria Rice was struck and killed stepped down Tuesday afternoon after spending two days on the stand.

Pool photo provided by The Buffalo News

In Erie County Court Monday morning, prosecutors began by laying the groundwork for Amherst Police Senior Accident Investigator Robert McMahon to testify in the trial of Dr. James Corasanti. 

Corasanti is accused of vehicular manslaughter in the July 8, 2011 hit-and-run death of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice.

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. 

Pool photo provided by The Buffalo News

Cell phone company records indicate Dr. James Corasanti sent and received nearly 80 text messages the day Alexandria Rice was killed.  But by the time investigators seized Corasanti's phone, most of them were gone.

Amherst Police Technical Services Officer Thomas Barillari testified legal procedures kept investigators from seizing Corasanti's phone until August 1, nearly three weeks after Rice was struck and killed along Heim Road. 

Mike Desmond/WBFO

A former Common Council member who is also employed as a Buffalo Police officer is facing federal charges for allegedly abusing sick leave at his job. 

Police say Robert Quintana, 50, was arrested this morning and charged with mail fraud and healthcare fraud. Quintana has been listed as 'injured on duty' since 2005 and has been receiving full pay and benefits. He had told the Police Department he had severe back injuries from a fall on duty.

The former head of the Wyoming County SPCA has been charged with 20 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

Former manager Susan Davila was arrested by state police this morning in the wake of February 15 raids at the Wyoming County facility in Attica and the animal adoption center it ran at the Eastern Hills Mall. More than 300 cats were found in deplorable conditions in the South Creek Road Attica building and some needed emergency medical attention.

Pool photo

Testimony provided in the trial of Dr. James Corasanti Tuesday indicates both the doctor and the victim were texting right around the time 18-year-old "Alix" Rice was struck and killed last July. 

With so much attention on the rash of recent hit-and-run accidents in the area, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda released surveillance footage today of a vicious hit-and-run in the city. 

The medical examiner who conducted an autopsy on Alexandria Rice was among those called to the stand today in the continuing manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti in Erie County Court.

The first witness called on Day 6 of the trial was Amherst Police Detective John Trabert.  He testified about arranging what investigators call a "controlled pick-up" of the garbage that Corasanti's placed at the curb in front of their house the week after Rice was struck and killed while skateboarding on Heim Road. 

A juror serving on the manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti was removed after the court learned he was arrested for DWI. 

40-year-old Michael Barron of Kenmore was arrested early Thursday morning by Town of Tonawanda Police for aggravated drunken driving and traffic offenses.

Police report that Barron  hit a pole on Elmwood Avenue and fled the scene.  Police said when they caught up to him he was drunk.  The trial of Corasanti was delayed a couple of hours Thursday due to Barron's absence. 

Pool photos provided by The Buffalo News

Day two of testimony in the manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti included testimony from a motorist who says he saw Alexandria Rice skateboarding along Heim Road in Amherst the night of July 8, 2011.

Mark Rowland also described a car speeding toward him and the teenage girl and hearing an "almighty bang."  Rowland described the sound as "ungodly." 

Facebook photo

A New York state trooper has been suspended without pay amid allegations he organized parties that involved prostitution while off duty.
 

State police say in a statement that Trooper Titus Taggart was suspended on Thursday as a result of an internal investigation that began in December.
    

The statement says the probe is ongoing and no arrests have been made.
    

Two other state troopers were also suspended without pay for allegedly engaging in misconduct.

Pool photos provided by Buffalo News

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

facebook.com/JusticeForJJ

Local members of the state delegation are trying to build support for legislation aimed at cracking down on repeat child abusers. 

Senator Timothy Kennedy and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak are sponsoring Jay J's Law, named for Jay J. Bolvin who suffered nearly a dozen broken bones at the hands of his father, Jeremy Bolvin, before he was two months of age.

Jay J's guardian Kevin Retzer says the abuse caused permanent brain damage and Jay J still does not talk like a normal two-year-old.  

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