Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The foreman of the James Corasanti jury is speaking out on the process of reaching the verdicts of not guilty of the five felony counts and guilty on a misdemanor DWI.
"We looked at the evidence and the laws as they pertained to them, and that's how we came up with the verdict," says William Nixon of Buffalo. "We just felt the defense presented reasonable doubt for each one of the charges presented to us. The prosecution did a wonderful job with the evidence they had, but the evidence, there was doubt in it."
Nixon explains one particular case of doubt in the evidence. "One of the primary factors was the blood alcohol content," says Nixon. "We were just skeptical of the test results, and so we really had to throw that all out." Nixon says the defense's expert witness gave him and his fellow jurors reasons to discount the readings, and did so.
On the one conviction, for misdemanor DWI, Nixon says "We thought there was sufficient evidence that he had been drinking, he admitted to drinking, and we didn't have to reach a certain number because we had a problem with that test."
Nixon can relate to the Rice family. "I personally have a son the same age as Alexandria. Several of the jurors have children. It was an emotional case, we feel for the Rice family," says Nixon, who mentions he and other jurors cried at times.
As for those who are not happy with the verdict, Nixon says this. "We're absolutely sorry they do feel that way. But if they were there in our shoes, I think we gave the benefit of the doubt and to see eveyrthing, the public wasn't there everyday." Nixon encourages people to be on a jury and go through the experience.
Would like to know what they were so unsure of with the blood test. He clearly admitted he was drinking. And why do you suppose he didn't see Alix or hear/feel the "thud" ... could it be that he was under the influence??? oh no....I forgot, he had a super-duper soundproof car with special headlights. Give me a break!!
Nixon, you say you were skeptical of the blood test results. Do you not remember that James refused the test when he was first approached by the Amherst Police? Shouldn't that have set a bell off to tell you that he probably was over the limit then (which was hours before the court ordered test, and he knew it) I would like to know how this "expert" witness for the defense could possibly know that the blood test was not collaborated correctly? Was he there when the nurse drew the blood? It seems strange that everything that was done/said/seen that night was done wrong in the eyes of the jury. What a crock!!
So--what did we learn here.
First, do not submit to a breathalizer.
Second, it is ok to leave the scene of an accident and claim that it was just a terrible accident.
Third, just because the hood of your car crumples up in front of you is no reason to believe there is anything wrong.
Fourth, be sure to wash your car after every trip.
Fifth, all we need to do is buy a convincing expert and play make believe.
I sincerely hope and would like to see the defense team look the victum family in the eye and honestly say that justice was done.
hard to see from their perspective
I think it's pretty hard to see things from the perspective of that jury. Most people can't fit their heads that far into their colon. The drunk drove off from the scene of a FATAL "accident"... What the hell were they thinking??
Shocked & outraged
I am also shocked & outraged as are a great many people!
Dr. Corasanti knew he had hit something" but didn't stop to see what it was-as an intelligent person would do - then tried to cover up afterwards.
I commend Michael Ettipio who pleaded guilty in a similar situation (I know he also had been drinking & had a witness as had Dr. Corasanti) but Michael was a "young" man enough to admit to it. (and he was sentenced to 5-15 years)
Where's the justice BETWEEN THE 2 SITUATIONS?
I sympathize greatly at the deaths of these two young people (as a mother & grandmother it would be on my mind everyday till the day I died)
Not guilty - Absolutely correct
I have served on a jury and Grand Jury, and know how difficult the work is. This was a tragic case both for defense and prosecution but the truth did prevail and the verdict solid. Hats off to the jury - you did Buffalo proud!
I'm outraged and can't believe that you jurors had reasonable doubt.. my god the man admitted to drinking, texting, hit "something" left the scene of a accident, tampered with evidence took a walk for 2 hours, didn't want to be arrested in front of his 7 year old son, the list goes on and on...How do you think Alexandia's parents felt when they had to go indentify her in the morgue?
ALL this scum bag of a human being was concerned about was his 7 year old son seeing him get arrested, his life being ruined.. well he should of thought about that when he drove home drunk, and texting his " secretary" at 11:15 pm..how nice is it, they both got new cell phones the day after the hit and run! There is so much more to this story and it will come out!!
What was the reasonable doubt?
The defendant admitted to drinking and driving, texting while driving, speeding, and to hitting something in the area where Alex's body was found. He did almost everything he could to impair his ability to operate a vehicle. There is also the fact that Alex's DNA was found on Corasanti's car. No matter how you felt about the head gas chromatography test, you felt that there was enough evidence to prove he was driving while intoxicated. During a criminal activity, which DWI is a crime, the guilty party is responsible for everything that happens during that crime, no matter who is at fault. So where is the reasonable doubt? All the good Dr. James Corasanti did will never erase all the bad Dr. James Corasanti did on that tragic night.
So who killed Alix?
She didn't fall from the sky and then thrown 174',she wasn't shot from a rocket, but she was killed. They have the suspect, everything points to this doctor, who does the jury think killed her? Let them answer that. Money talks and the guilty walk.
Mmmmm, friend or family of Grisanti? Either that or you're just playing devils advocate so you can get some attention online? Shame on you!
when the front of the car was reconstruted for the jury to see, I Thougt it was an insult to the jurys inteligence to say the dr diddnt know he hit anything.As it turned out the jury didnt have any inteligence to insult.
it was an accident
the dr. was only convicted of dwi because he did not take breath test it is the law that he would be charged with that offence i feel sad for the parents of alix where was the father all the years before give me a break he was a dead beat dad my heart goes out to the mother don't judge the verdict till you sit on the jury .
After seeing your interview with channel 2, I would like you to explain once again how your theroy of hitting something with a bus works Mr. Nixon.
It's a shame that the twelve of you aren't in the same prison cell as that doctor that murdered that beautiful girl. Karma is a wonderful thing, and yours is coming...
What we're they thinking?
If the jurors found Corasanti guilty of common law DWI, 1192.3 then they believed the Police Officer's observations that he was intoxicated, no B.A.C. reading necessary. If that's the case then they should have found him guilty of Manslaughter 2nd degree because voluntary intoxication is reckless when operating a motor vehicle. That's common sense, no law degree necessary.
What were they tiniking?
If the jury found Corasanti guilty of 1192.3, common law DWI, then they believed the police officer's observations that he was drunk, no BAC necessary. If that's the cas then he's also guilty of manslaughter 2nd. degree because voluntary intoxication is reckless when you drive a motor vehicle. That's just common sense, no law degree necessary.
Defense Experts were "expert"???
This jury would believe water is not wet if an "expert" told them so.
Thqnk you jurors
It's very different when you sit in that box and have to abide by the letter of the law. I thank the jury for their time and appreciate their effort. I may not agree with their verdict but I also don't have all the information they had!
what the hell, you have to be kidding me !
Corasanti, said himself he thought he hit something, also he said he panicked. What kind of a person would panic if they didn't think they hit another person. Would you panic if you hit a garbage can or something that didn't matter? Anyway why wouldn't you stop to see what you did hit? The guy is a Dr., he should have at least called 911 to try to help the poor girl. How can you panic if you are a Dr. they are under a great deal of pressure and put in panic situations every day! What an excuse! Justice, I think not!!!!!!!! This is the power of money, pay your way out! Well I hope you can live with yourself after this.
Recall BMW sedans
If the jury is naive enough to believe that nothing can be heard from inside the type of BMW that Dr. Corisanti was driving, then that model BMW should be recalled.By the jurists logic, driving that model would be a danger to the driver as well as other motorists. How would a driver of that model be able to hear a siren from an emergency vehicle, or the horn of another vehicle warning of impending danger? The jurists should adhere to the addage " Tis better to remain silent and be thought an idiot, than to speak and remove all doubt".
Key factor ommitted?
I had heard this man interviewed on a TV station news program last night, and the key thing he said influenced the jury's decision is not included in the interview above: The white fog line paint on Alix's board wheels. He said that this fact made evident that she was over the line at the time of impact. This was apparent to all on the jury, as they all agreed. It is the key factor that made deliberation as quick as it was. So, you've got a black-clad (lime green shirt, yes, black bookbag on her back, also yes -- c'mon), crouched or low-positioned girl over the white line (swerving? One witness early on was quoted as saying he mistook her for a shopping cart--tell me she was highly visible/highly apparent), and also that she was crossing the road in a crouched position. Why is this information not included in this interview, I wonder (when it was included in the news coverage one yesterday)? Fact is, gigantic mistakes were made by both parties. One tragically lost her life for those errors in judgment/unsafe behaviors (WHY are you riding along a road at 11 p.m.?!). But the evidence creates doubt as to the specific charge - that Dr. Corasanti knew he had hit (and killed) a human being...And top this off with the deceased party's own responsibility of riding out over the white line while boarding in a risky way, and that mitigates Corasanti's total culpability. I am shocked at the 'Guilty! Let's hang him!' attitude. The 'these jurors must be stupid' mentality...And it's also a disgrace that people are only now putting up a memorial to this girl--it's really coming across more as a statement against Corasanti, than a support of Rice. Disgusting. Lastly, it's also disgraceful that the media is hunting him down and tsk tsking him for having a get-together. The man was aquitted of the major charges. The system did it's job. Stop the vigilatisim. The system worked--what's flawed is the public reaction. That's what concerns me.
People Need to Get a Grip
Did you not read the article? There was reasonable doubt. The prosecution did not present their evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury did their job. What is presented in the media is completely different than what is presented in court. You people need to seriously get a grip. I have an 18-year-old son, and a husband who was almost killed by a drunk driver so I can speak to the emotion involved, but you have to keep your head. The family will win the civil trial.
Get over it!
Get over it people! He was found "NOT GUILTY"! An not be twelve jurors that were "rich" as you are all belly aching about Dr. Corasanti's money.It was by a jury of every day people who had all of the evidence and made the right decision based on the evidence. This lynch mob is getting old and BORING!
what if it were your child?
If this were dr corosanti's child do you think this would of come out different? Of course! any lay person would get the book thrown at them! if they found him guilty of misdemeaner dwi why wouldn't they find him guilty of vehicular manslauter? I don't buy that he didn't really know what he hit! Any one would stop and look if they were not trying to hide something! I feel the jury did not want to ruin his career by convicting him of a felony and they just can't say the real reason for the not guilty verdict. I feel sad for the family of Alix. the civil suit will probally never be paid nor will it compansate there loss.
My heart breaks for the Rice family. My faith in our judicial system has also been broken.
Thanks for serving on the Jury and for your work in reaching the verdict. I wish the family and friends of Alix great comfort on their loss.
Will all the arm chair jurors please rise, put their hands on a bible and swear they judge without bias and according to the law, as it is written.
Thank you jurors
I would like to thank the jury for their time and effort. It was a very difficult situation and you have to respect what they have decided.
This verdict defies the laws of common sense......period! We have to accept it, but it must be easy for the defense to manipulate jury selection to the most gullible of society.
Jury of Gumps!
Stupid is as stupid does.
Bless you Alix
Bless you Rice family
God have mercy on your soul Dr Death
Everyone on the jury is an absolute idiot! They call themselves Americans when they allow such NONSENSE to take place and noone held accountable. I wonder if it were their child if theyd be so passive. I label them all the Trojan horse!! They all make a mockery of this joke we call judicial system!! The judge included!!!!!! Its a complete disgrace that these people call themselves Americans and that they prevale for justice! Shame shame shame them all!!! And their families too. Juror #8 is the biggest with his interview. Maybe hes the one to blame for the not guilty. Stone em all!!!!!!!!! Thats justice. To the jurers reading this...shame on you...idiot idiot idiots each and EVERY ONE OF YOU.
To all these comments from people who obviously think its no big deal...i hope it never happens to a family member of yours, if you have any cause you sound like you have not a bit of compassion in life or common sense but then again..that left people along time ago. Ignorant idiodic americans...duh! Greed and self righteousness thats what we are all about on the western hemisphere. God help us cure the stupid!
Our Judicial System has been wrong many, many times. Look at those who have been freed after years of imprisonment and then DNA or other evidence proves them innocent. The same outcome is just as likely with someone who is guilty. Is this what has happened in the Corasanti/Rice case? I don't have the answers, none of us do, all we can do is pray for all those involved that they can find peace within.
Thanks again jurors
"We now have an opportunity on behalf of the doctor to extend condolences to the young lady who died, Miss Rice; no one is leaving here with any great joy."
I've never heard such BS in my life they would have been better saying nothing. Of course they are leaving with "Great joy" That was such a slap in the face for the family and Alix. You got what you wanted just leave with your head held high. no wonder lawyers have a bad name.
The family gets to morn all over again! Thanks Jury! I hope none of you EVER have to bury a child hit buy a drunken fool.
Shocked and Outraged
Congratulations to the defense team for finding the dumbest 12 people in Erie County that lack common sense. The verdict is a travisty of justice and a slap in the face to the victims family. Finding Corasanti guilty of common law DWI based upon his ADMISSIONS of consuming "some" drinks and disregarding the scientific results of a blood test is outragous. Isn't DWI a key element of Vehicular Manslaughter? If the jury believes that Corasanti was driving drunk and struck and killed Alix Rice due to his negligence - why not the conviction for vehicluar manslaughter? The bottom line is Corasanti was drunk and should not have been driving - PERIOD. If he is not on the road Alix would still be alive today. Just because they say that justice is blind doesn't mean the jurors have to be too..How about leaving the scene of a accident? I truly believe that Dr. Corasanti did not see Alix - not because of her" dark" clothing or alledged "weaving" as said by one of the jurors on WBEN - but because alcohol impairs a persons ability to operate a motor vehicle safely (i.e - effects basic motor skills, blurs vision and slows down reaction time)not to mention looking down at his cell phone to read or send text messages. This is why he did not "see" Alix. AGAIN lack of common sense. In so far as the Tampering with evidence charge - (wiping down the car)Corasanti is a medical doctor and knows what human flesh and blood look like - after seeing this and the extensive damage to the front end of the BMW - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out - let me fill you juror's in on something - IT WAS A PERSON he hit - he knew it and instead of notifying the police as required by law - he chose to run away from the house and have his wife cover for him because he was "DRUNK". I don't know why I wasted my time typing this because the 12 people that I want to see this probably can't read - Maybe they can get their friend Jim to read it to them... Again Jury, Thank you for your "injustice" oh, I mean service. Due to your outstanding verdict, start watching the news and reading the paper - you guys just gave every Drunk on the road a green light to run away from accidents - Job well done!!
Hey Jurors, how was the post verdict party at the Corasanti's house last night??
IN THEIR SHOES
People who have NEVER served on a jury DO NOT understand the pressure that is placed on jurors. You CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT use ANY sense of emotion when making decisions about a case, EVEN IF everything "points in a certain direction." You have to go by the law and it needs to show evidence BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. If there is ANY doubt present, then the evidence is flawed, and therefore you ARE OBLIGATED as a juror do go by the law... not by emotions or by "it is obvious by a particular circumstance" type of situation. There WILL ALWAYS be outcry for a victim, it's human nature. If the situation were reversed, it would have been "reckless drunk girl hits excellent doctor." Again, it is hard for humans to take emotion out of a situation or court case, and people JUST DON'T REALIZE HOW HARD IT IS IF THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN ON A JURY. It should be a requirement. We would live in a better, more understanding society if this were the case. I am sure almost every past jurors would agree with me, especially the foreman. I am sorry that this situation happened in the first place, but there will always be someone who is not satisfied with the outcome ofa case, especially a tragic one.
THE GREAT COVER UP
NICE TO HAVE FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES.right JIM
Look,accidents do happen. Have you ever looked in your rear view mirror for just a second and then looked forward to see something suddenly appear. If you say no then you are a liar. ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN and the jury concluded that this was a terrible accident and not something that anyone set out to do. I am not making excuses for the doc. But things do happen and so do accidents
Not Guilty Because the DA didn't do his job!
Where you sitting in the court room everyday? NO The twelve people on the jury were. The DA from what I saw was nasty,and would have turned me right off. When the expert witnesses gave their account of the facts his come back was HOW MUCH THEY WERE PAID, how about proving them wrong?? No he just hammered away with the money issue. Did their experts have the same experience? Is It possible that there was another explanation as to the location of Alex? All of the jury heard the entire testimony not wht talk radio and the press chose to release. If the people in the community feel the need to point fingers my suggestion is they look at a very nasty DA, the news paper, and local tv stations( 1 ) in particular) with the nasty music and terrible picture. The twelve people on the jury rendered a verdict on the law, not on linch mob mentality.
The jurors did do a good job despite what the public says or thinks
Initially, I thought Corisanti was guilty b/c basically all I heard was texting, drinking and leaving the scene. This is what the media fed us daily. However, the night before deliberations, I listened to all of the closing arguments on the wben site-over three hours worth. Most people are not willing to take the time to do that, but I did. After listening to both sides, I could not believe the amount of reasonable doubt in the evidence. For one, the longboard was found to have no damage to the back, proving she was not hit from behind but she had swerved into the driving lane. Also, the expert engineering testimony on just how soundproof this BMW was. A hit would sound and feel very different on most of our 20K cars that we drive. Just one of the perks you get when you pay 90K for a car. There was even more reasonable doubt-not room enough to explain. Then take into account, I'm sorry, but the irresponsible actions on the part of this 18-year-old. It is so difficult to see in nighttime conditions as it is, then add that she was predominantly dressed in black from head to toe (minus a green stripe), crouched down and skateboarding. Skatebboarding, by its nature, is not really a tame form of transportation compared to say walking or even biking. Skateboarders crouch and swerve to move along. I think if Corisanti had not hit her, eventually somone would-drinking or not. I drive a difficult commute in the predawn hours and I get nervous about hitting someone or something all the time.
Yes, the jurors did a great job and should be congratulated. And if the citizens of Buffalo continue to
harrass the defense and be outraged about the verdict, maybe Corisanti should consider leaving this unsophisticated town and settle in another city where he can continue what he dedicated most of his life to doing -saving lives.
Freedom for all
This verdict needs to be recalled! There is reasonable doubt in everything. Therefore, all those who have been convicted of DWI using a breathalizer or other means could raise question about their accuracy. Further, it appears that it is ok to have a hit and run. In conclusion as has been set with precedence from this trial, all convicted of thses or similar offenses should be set free and there is no reason to convict in the future.
Based on his verdict, the logical conclusion that we do not know what happened.
Kudos jurors and WBEN
One thing people don't truly understand- the jurors were on this trial for weeks receiving information and facts the public did not. It reminds me of when people judge a book by one phrase, take it out of context, and then judge the entire book by this method. This is what the people of Buffalo are doing. I happened to listen to the closing arguments on the eve of deliberations-several hours worth on the wben video section. After patiently viewing and listening, I could see that there was plenty of reasonable doubt in the evidence (longboard in driving lane as proven by lack of damage to end of board, girl dressed in mostly black from head to toe, and more)) and now I can understand why the verdict came in the way it did- and the jurors had much more info than the closing arguments that I had acces to. If most people could hear and see what the jurors experienced, they would understand. Mostly, what we got in the news and media was "drinking--texting-- leaving the scene", over and over and over again. No wonder everyone (including myself initially) believed him guilty. It was much more complex than that , as life's conflicts usually are. Thank you WBEN for providing those lengthy video clips on both sides for the closing arguments. I wish more people would have taken the time to really sit down and view those objectively-less people might have been outraged. I am sure glad I did. And thank you jurors - that was a lot of hard work and time to go through all that evidence. Your hard work is appreciated by some, at least.
The dr had a preexisting alchol related driving offense going back to 1996. Having not leared from it god only knows how many times he's arrogantly driven drunk between then and that fateful july night,on which he was 1.driving drunk 2.speeding 3.texting.What are the chances this reckless manace wasnt going to eventually kill an inocent person?Thank god alex didnt have any of her youg friends with her that night tnen we would be calling this self centered remorseless barbarian a mass murderer.
Sick of the emotional and uniformed!
I agree with "Key factor Omitted" People need to listen to the evidence that was presented, all of it, and not just what they heard from their friends and the junk they read in the paper. Sorry the media is good for some things,but in this case they totally swayed the community by allowing prejudicism to take place. So the Doc had money...he is still human and capable of error. Sadly this young lady died as a result, but I do believe based on the evidence that he really did not see her. Come on people judging someone because they are rich and saying they can buy thier way out of anything is just plain ignorant. And shame on the media for playing right into it! What if, he really did not see her? What if it were you, and you had a few drinks and you were totally capable of driving, and this happened to you? Would you want a fair trial regardless? This was a very sad and terrible accident that changed the lives of two people, that is all...I am so very sorry for the lose of Alix, and my condolences to her family, but I hope that they too can someday come to the same conclusion, and let their beautiful daughter rest in peace. I too lost a family member to a drunk driver and know how very difficult it is to forgive. God Bless.
I THINK THEY SHOULD WATCH THE JURY TO SEE WHO COMES INTO A LOT OF MONEY,I THINK HE PAID THE WHOLE JURY.10,000.00 EACH I BELIEVE IS 120,000.THAT'S PETTY CASH FOR THE SCUM BUM. BIGBILL
40 years ago
40 years ago organized crime would have paid top dollar for this jury, today they can get it free, try common sence, to alexis's family im sorry for your pain, and it's sameful the jury put any blame on her when a driver was drunk and texting,and too drunk to know he hit something that left a 2 foot dent one foot deep in the car
you let him off
Your jury sent a real message in letting this guy off. I don't care if he claims he didn't know it was a person he hit. Corasanti knew he hit something in that high priced car and ran off like a coward. Of all the charges he should have been found GUILTY on the leaving the scene. Corasanti lawyered up within minutes and refused the breath test because he knew he was so loaded it would have been way over the legal limit. His car hit Alix, he was driving it & was drunk while doing it. Corasanti takes no responsibility for his actions and you people let him get away with it. I am in awe of the slap on the wrist you gave him. Way to really show all of us that cash talks.
Put it all together
So, let's say that Alix was riding her skateboard in the street and not totally in the bike lane...If the doctor admitted to drinking and texting... But not when he hit her...Why did he not see her? It was 11:20 pm, he had his headlights on. What logical explanation can you give that he did not see her?
So, he hits her and does not know it? He goes home and panics, calls his lawyer. Finds out that Alix died. He puts all his ducks in a row, tries to sober up. Witnesses account his statements that he drank, he ruined his life. An hour and a half later, he turns himself in, but refuses a breathlizer. How does that not Scream leaving the scene of a fatal accident. I am sure that his attorney told him to delete his texts, and what a coincidence, his testers did the same. Seriously? This sickens me!