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Rice family retracts Facebook request to citizens

The family of Alexandria Rice  retracted an earlier request posted on a Facebook  Memorial page for their daughter Wednesday asking members of the public to write letters to Judge Sheila DiTullio, requesting that she impose the maximum one year prison sentence on Doctor James Corasanti for his reduced driving while intoxicated conviction last week.

Rice was struck and killed by Corasanti last July along Heim Road in Amherst, and widespread public outrage followed last week's jury decision to acquit Corasanti on several felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter.

The posting, from Alix's parents Richard Rice and Tammy Scheuler, called for the public to be heard in the sentencing phase of the Corasanti case, which will take place August 16th.

The parents urged letter writers to be brief and respectful in their correspondence to the judge. 

But WBFO & AM-970 News spoke to Richard Rice.  He decline a recorded comment, saying that they were pulling the Facebook message at the request of the victims advocate office at the Erie County District Attorney's office.   Rice said they were trying to refocus the community outrage into respectful, brief messages to the judge.  

The following is the statement issued by the Rice's:

At the request of the Erie County District Attorney's Office, I respectfully withdraw requests for anyone writing to the office of Jeff Ricketts or anyone else in that office.  I do not wish to interfere with the daily operations of the D.A. in any fashion as they are very busy attending to important business, just as they did on behalf of Alix Rice.
I appreciate all who would like to help, but I have made an error in understanding about what is actually welcome in that office at this time.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and I ask that you please focus your anger and energy on things that are positive in your community. 
Earlier Wednesday the following statement was issued on the same Facebook page by the Rice family:

We are torn about posting this so I will leave it only for a short time. This is a page to honor and memorialize Alix, but ultimately that is why I am posting this at all.
We are asking a favor of everyone who feels that the voice of the public be heard concerning sentencing for the killer of Alix Rice.

Alix's Mother Tammy and I are requesting that you take time to write a letter to the Honorable ...Judge Sheila DiTullio expressing your concern about the sentence you feel should be imposed on the guilty party for his DWI conviction connected with the crimes for which the jury did not convict the defendant.

FYI, the max is one year in jail plus fines.   The letters should be short, respectful and directly to the point of sentencing and why you feel it should be maximum, or whatever you feel it should be. We are also asking that you request him to serve community service in addition to any other sentence.

It will give everyone a chance to be heard and some solace to the families and friends of Alexandria Rice.
Thank you and God bless.
-Alix's parentsSee More

A candle light vigil for Alix Rice will be held on Thursday, August 16th from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at a memorial set up on Heim Road in Getzville where she died.    

The family says it will be to celebrate her life.  

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.