Corasanti Trial: Testimony on Cell Phone Texts, Calls

1:18 PM, May 11, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - Cell phone testimony continued Thursday morning in the trial of Dr. James Corasanti.

Dr. Corasanti is accused in the fatal hit and run accident that killed Alexandria Rice last July on Heim Road in Amherst.

Amherst Police Officer Thomas Barillari was on stand Thursday morning, testifying about texts and phone calls made by the doctor on July 8th. 

Officer Barillari said, "Out of 79 [texts that day], there were only 12 messages left on the phone." The rest of the messages, including those he sent moments before and after the crash, were deleted.

Corasanti's attorneys fought to exclude testimony about text messages that were not sent or received around the time of the accident. However, the prosecution said those texts are relevant and Judge Sheila DiTullio allowed the testimony while reserving decision.

Christine Micciarello, a physician's assistant for Buffalo Medical Group testified Thursday afternoon.

She is one of people Corasanti texted the evening of the accident.

Micciarello said she has Corasanti listed as "Naples" in her phone because she knows he has a house there and she has other "James" in her phone.

Micciarello testified she had her phone turned off on July 8th, and when she woke up on July 9th and turned on her phone, it started beeping with a lot of texts.

She said she deleted the eight messages Corasanti sent her without reading them so that she could read the important work messages of the day.

The text times included one sent at 11:18 p.m., which is three minutes before the crash, and two texts sent at 11:23 p.m., two minutes after the crash. 

On July 10, Micciarello and Corasanti texted back and forth 13 times. She couldn't recall the content of the texts.

Throughout much of Micciarello's testimony she was glancing at Corasanti and seemed uncomfortable. Although she was a prosecution witness, defense attorney Joel Daniels objected on multiple occasions saying this is not cross-examination and the prosecutor is trying to impeach his own witness.
 
Also testifying on Day 9 was Bonnie Warsaw who works at Buffalo Medical Group as a medical assistant and calls Corasanti "her boss and her friend."

She went into great detail on the stand about a text conversation she had with the doctor between 10:54 and 11:19 p.m. the night of the crash about planning an office party.
The crash happened around 11:21 p.m.

Warsaw said she remembered such detailed information about the texts because after she heard about the crash she read the texts hundreds of times. She said, "I was texting him close to the time of the accident. I felt sad." She said she became emotional and deleted them all.  

Corasanti and Warsaw talked on the phone the next day. She testified he said, "I never saw her, I never saw her."

Four days after the crash Warsaw went to the doctor's house to deliver notes and cards from patients. She says he told her,
"I felt like I was OK to drive that night. I had beer with golf. I had wine with dinner."

Until now the jury heard he had only Captain Morgan and Diet Pepsi's and a B&B stinger at the Transit Valley Country Club, plus a $100 bottle of wine served to the table that no one could verify he drank. 

Both women said they did not talk to Corasanti about deleting their texts. Both women did not agree to talk with police and the District Attorney's office when asked, and instead obtained counsel. The jury was instructed that people aren't aren't obligated to answer the questions of the police or DA's office and have the constitutional right to get an attorney, and the jury is not to draw inferences from that.

So far 33 prosecution witnesses have testified. They have over 80on their list, but that doesn't mean they all will be called.

 

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