BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) After nearly a month of testimony by over 40 witnesses, the vehicular manslaughter case of Dr. James Corasanti has gone to the jury for deliberations.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Cheryl Meyers Buth said the evidence proved one thing: "This was a terrible, tragic accident but no crime."
Buth showed the jury parts of Alexandria Rice's broken longboard.
She pointed out that white paint on the front wheels came from the road's fog line, proving that Alix Rice was partially in the driving lane at the time of the fatal accident
"She could not have been hit from behind, its not possible. It is just inconsistent with the physical facts," said the defense attorney
Cheryl Meyers Buth said the shock and sound of the impact was minimized by the doctor's specially designed BMW. She questioned why prosecutors only showed the jurors the damaged car panels instead of letting them see the entire care - which is much larger and heavier than a normal vehicle.
The defense team consistently argued that lighting conditions at the time of the accident were dark.
"Why didn't he see her? she's crouched down, she's low, she's mostly in black on the darker side of the road," Buth told the jury.
The defense closing argument emphasized that Dr. Corasanti sought legal counsel as soon as he realized that he had hit a person, and that there was no effort to "hide" from police.
But prosecutors painted a very different picture during their summation.
"After that display by this defendant, and his friends, and their paid witnesses, I submit to you that the word selfish should be replaced by ridiculous, and at times offensive," said prosecutor James Bargnesi.
The assistant district attorney showed the jury Alix Rice's lime-green top and told them it was the doctor's intoxication, texting, and speeding that caused him to not see her as she rode her longboard on the night of July 8, 2011.
"It is his own criminal actions that make him accountable," added Bargnesi.
James Bargnesi argued with the defense conclusion that Alix Rice was in the driving lane, and therefore, was a contributing factor to the accident.
"Even if she is in the driving lane, you can't drive over her," added the prosecutor.
The prosecution attorney reminded the jury that the victim was "blasted" by the doctor's car in the right headlight area, and he pointed out the headline would have been shining on her for a distance of approximately 200 feet.
During the nearly two-hour closing statement, James Bargnesi said evidence shows that Dr. Corasanti was legally drunk and that should be grounds for conviction on the vehicular manslaughter charge.
"If he wasn't drunk, he would have taken the breathalyzer test. If he wasn't drunk, his blood test five hours later wouldn't say that he was, and every excuse from this defendant was his version - and nothing more," Bargnesi told the jury.