Defense Asks For Charges To Be Dismissed In Fatal Hit-and-Run

March 5, 2012 Updated Mar 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM EDT

By WKBW News

March 5, 2012 Updated Mar 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM EDT

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) – Joel Daniels, the defense attorney for Doctor James Corasanti, told a judge in an earlier court appearance that the death of Alexandria Rice, 18, was an accident and all charges should be dropped against his client.

Corasanti is charged with Manslaughter, Vehicular Manslaughter and Tampering with Evidence. He is accused of hitting and killing Alexandria Rice, 18, while she was skateboarding last summer on Heim Road in Amherst.

Prosecutors claim Corasanti was drunk, texting and speeding when he hit rice. They also said he fled the scene then repaired his damaged vehicle. Prosecutors said Corasanti was so drunk that when he was brought into custody five hours after the accident, his blood alcohol level was still well over the legal limit.

The defense said this case should be thrown out because of Rice’s mental state that night. They said she had marijuana in her system and was suicidal.

“This was an accident. It happened at night, it was late and dark. Dr. Corasanti is a healer, he saves lives day in and day out,” Defense Attorney Joel Daniels said.

Prosecutors said in court that the defense is trying to blame the victim for what is clearly the doctor’s fault.

“Alex's mom was horrified to hear that the doctor may have been texting at the same time he was drinking, driving and speeding,” Prosecutor Chris O’Brien said.

A decision as to whether to dismiss the case was postponed on Friday but the decision is expected Monday afternoon.