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Judge denies mistrial motion in Corasanti case

Erie County Court judge Sheila DiTullio has denied a defense request for a mistrial in the case of Dr. James Corasanti of Amherst.

As the trial resumed Monday morning defense attorney Joel Daniels asked the judge to declare a mistrial, claiming a report in Sunday's Buffalo News could have tainted jurors.

Corasanti is standing trial for vehicular manslaughter in the hit and run of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice of Amherst last July on Heim Road. 

The prosecution says Corasanti had been drinking prior to hit and run.

The Buffalo News story discussed a rash of recent hit and run and DWI fatalities -- one as recent as last Thursday in Lancaster.

In that article, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita noted how baffling the situation has become. But Sedita tells WBFO & AM-970 News -- in no way was he referring to the Corasanti case.

"If you read the article, it is very clear that I have not said anything about the Corasanti case," said Sedita.  "I was answering a reporters questions about a number of incidents unrelated to the Corasanti case." 

Before denying Monday's defense motion, the judge questioned jurors finding that they are indeed qualified to continue on the Corasanti trial and have not been affected by the article.

Sedita noted that he has not publicly  spoken about the prosecution's case against Corasanti and jurors were instructed not to read media accounts about the case. 

"I'm not going to comment about anything Mr. Daniels had said or any motion that was made," said Sedita.