Corasanti Takes The Stand

May 18, 2012 Updated May 18, 2012 at 6:17 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

May 18, 2012 Updated May 18, 2012 at 6:17 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW) -- The doctor accused of killing a teenager in a hit and run crash took the stand Friday in his own defense, with tearful testimony.

Channel 7's Ed Reilly and defense attorney Barry Covert were inside the packed courtroom Friday morning in downtown Buffalo to watch Corasanti take the stand in his own defense.

Dr. Corasanti spoke in a soft voice, almost a whisper, as he admitted to drinking at the Transit Valley Country Club before driving home.

He told the court that several drinks he ordered were for his friends.

With respect to texting while driving, Dr. Corasanti testified that he only sent text messages when he was stopped at a traffic light, or a stop sign.

When asked about the accident, the doctor began to cry, saying he never saw Alexandria Rice.

"I felt my car run over something in the road. Nothing I heard, or saw, suggested that I should stop my car," Corasanti said on the stand.

Dr. Corasanti said when he returned to his garage, he used a flashlight and then saw "red matter" and a piece of "yellow tissue" on his car.

He testified that he thought he hit an animal, and called his friend, Defense Attorney Tom Burton, for advice.

When Dr. Corasanti's wife told him there was an ambulance at the scene, he said they both cried because he knew he hit a person.

The doctor told the court he felt "horrible" and was "distraught." He called attorney Tom Burton and told him, "he'll do whatever he has to."

The doctor emphasized that while he left his house with "dark thoughts," he voluntarily agreed to surrender to police.

The family of Alexandria Rice was in the courtroom Friday to also witness his testimony.

During cross-examination, prosecutors told the jury about the doctor's $400,000 salary, and his several trips to Naples, Florida to visit his condo and play golf at a private club.

Prosecutor James Bargnesi arguing the defendant has a financial motive to try and convince the jury that his version of events is correct.

Defense Attorney Joel Daniels objected to the line of questioning and asked Judge Sheila DiTullio to declare a mistrial on the grounds of "inflammatory . . . prejudicial misconduct" by the prosecution.

The motion was denied by Judge DiTullio and cross-examination continued throughout the afternoon.