(WBEN) Buffalo- Alix Rice's mom is "dumbfounded" by the verdict that found Dr. James Corasanti not guilty of any felonies related to the fatal crash that killed her daughter.
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Alix Rice's Mom- Tammy Schueler
Alix Rice's Father Richard Rice
Corasanti admits his vehicle struck and killed Rice on Heim Road last July as she rode her longboard, a type of skateboard, home from work that night. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, vehicular manslaughter, and two counts tampering with evidence in the case, but jurors on Wednesday found him not guilty , save for a misdemeanor DWI charge.
"Here come the tears already," Tammy Schueler said at the start of an extensive interview with WBEN's Tom Bauerle.
"Every move I make from this day forward is to make Alix proud of me, for how strong I am, and living right by her name," Schueler said through tears.
Schueler was in court for the entire trial, and says there is very little that the jurors saw that wasn't reported in the media.- and therefore she is at a loss to explain a verdict that is so contrary to what she expected.
"There was so much good concrete evidence," Schueler says, adding that there were little details that did not come out in court, but nothing "earth shattering" that she felt could have resulted in the acquittals. And she still doesn't put much stock in that Dr. Corasanti's testimony that he had no idea what he hit.
"It seemed well rehearsed. I personally didn't believe it by my opinion doesn't matter. It is what it is," she says. "... I wish he had handled things differently , and I'll leave it at that,"
Schueler says that she feels Alix would have been able to forgive Corasanti.
Schueler does not fault the prosecution, and has praise for both them and the many who have helped her through these tough times.
Schueler says that while the verdict has her confused, she has respect for the prosecution and is in awed of the support from the community.
"The district attorney's office.. they all did their job so well. They have been so supportive and awesome. I can't say enough good about them. The Amherst Police, in terms of what they did in the investigation, in terms of what they did in the courtroom, they were spot on. And the community has stood by me (with) thoughts , prayers. I've been inundated. .. sometimes at the lowest point in your life is when you find out how wonderful people can be," Schueler says.
Friends of Alix Rice have placed a memorial tree in Glen Falls Park in Williamsville and even without a favorable verdict, Schueler says is heartened by those around her.
"They will do her justice in seeing that her memory lives on," Schueler says.