Corasanti defense challenges evidence

May 22, 2012

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.  

Corasanti testified he was looking straight ahead  with both hands on the wheel, but he never saw Rice skateboarding in the bike lane on Heim Road the night of July 8.  

The doctor said he heard and felt a thud  but thought it was nothing he needed to stop his car for.  

He also didn't notice the passenger side mirror had fallen off or that his headlights looked different, though one lens was broken from hitting Rice.  

When he got home, Corasanti said he saw the damage, but had "no suspicion"  that he hit a person.  

The 56-year-old Getzville man later admitted he felt personal guilt, not criminal guilt, that he hurt someone.  

The second witness yesterday was Dr. Jimmie Valentine, a pharmacology-toxicology consultant. He was hired by the defense to review the court-ordered blood test that showed Corasanti's blood alcohol count was over the legal limit five hours after Rice was killed.  

Valentine said the county lab's calibration report from the day Corasanti's blood sample was tested shows something was wrong with the lab's machine.  

Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Valentine admitted he was not aware the county's control standards are much higher than other labs around the country.  

He also put his fee for testifying for the defense in the ballpark of around $10,000.