BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The prosecution said jurors must have bought Dr. James Corasanti's testimony when they found the Amherst doctor not guilty Wednesday on all major counts he was facing for hitting Alix Rice on Heim Road last July.
The month-long trial had 40 witnesses called to the stand.
"We're disappointed, and frankly shocked," said Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita.
Corasanti was acquitted of all felony charges, only being found guilty of common law DWI - a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
More on the conclusion of the trial:
Sedita said, "The jury apparently chose to credit the testimony of Dr. Corasanti and to believe the version of events and various explanations put forth."
The Amherst doctor was facing five felony charges in connection with the death of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice, whom the doctor acknowledged hitting on Heim Road last July. His defense team argued that Corasanti did not know he hit Rice.
"I was surprised that they didn't come back with a manslaughter count," Sedita said. "But I was shocked that they didn't come back with a guilty on leaving the scene."
On his way out of court, prosecutor James Bargnesi, who delivered the closing arguments, was asked for his reaction.
He said, "Disappointed, but accept the jury's verdict."
The Rice family left court without speaking to reporters.
Sedita said, "What I would say to the Rice family is: 'I'm sorry. I wish the verdict had been different.'"
The jury could not come to an agreement on a lesser DWI charge. Sedita said he wasn't sure if they will pursue that charge.
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