BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The courtroom drama hit a boiling point in the final day of testimony in the manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti.
The jury was cleared from the courtroom by Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio after a defense witness and prosecutor lost their tempers.
After the defense rested and the prosecution called one rebuttal witnesses, Judge DiTullio made the call to break until Tuesday, after the long Memorial Day weekend.
"It's very dangerous," said Eyewitness News Legal Analyst Barry Covert, a prominent Buffalo defense attorney.
"On the one hand, if you try to sum up tomorrow and you get the charge to the jury, the jurors only have Thursday and Friday to deliberate ... and they may feel a little bit rushed because you've got the Memorial Day Weekend coming up," Covert said.
Jurors would have likely been sequestered at a motel, possibly all weekend.
"On the other hand, seven days off is a long time especially in this day and age to believe that they won't have some type of outside influence," he said.
Judge DiTullio reminded jurors not to discuss the case with anyone, including each other, and stay away from all news media and the Internet.
The warning came hours after the jury was removed from the courtroom following an argument between prosecutor Chris Belling and defense witness David Liske.
Liske, an accident reconstruction expert, said the jury "had the right to hear the truth" about the accident. He also told the jury that Amherst Police were "absolutely wrong" about the crash.
Liske said Corasanti's BMW, which struck and killed 18-year-old Alexandria Rice last July. was traveling five miles above the 35 miles per hour speed limit.
Prosecution witnesses pinpointed Corasanti's speed between 11 and 17 miles above the speed limit.
The prosecution also asked Liske if he was being paid $10,000 to testify as an expert witness for the defense.
Closing arguments are scheduled to take place Tuesday morning.