MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man was sentenced Friday to 14 to 30 years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that left a man dead.
Prosecutors say Madi Grant, 36, of Oyster Bay, was under the influence of drugs and alcohol in December 2014 when he he crossed three lanes on the Southern State Parkway and crashed into another vehicle, killing the driver, 59-year-old Sherman Richardson.
Prosecutors said Grant fled in his rental car before he and a friend set it on fire, hoping to cover up the crime, but police tracked the vehicle down.
Sentencing day at Nassau County Court began with a prayer for justice for the family members of Richardson, whose wife said there is a still a huge hole in her heart for the lost love of her life.
“It’s a shame that we have to be here for this reason, and there’s been no remorse from the other side,” Jawana Richardson said.
Inside the judge’s chambers, Jawana Richardson confronted Grant, calling him selfish.
Later, the widow said she had hoped for a stiffer sentence but accepts the judge’s decision.
“I probably wouldn’t be here today, so I’m grateful to a lot of people — to MADD, to state police, to the DA’s office, to my company, to my neighbors, the community, my family,” Jawana Richardson said.
Grant’s mother said her son’s fate is now in God’s hands.
“Praise God and Nassau County,” Pamela Grant said.
Just several feet away, Jawana Richardson spoke of her husband’s love of gardening and her inability to forgive his killer.
“I know God forgives him, but in my heart, I can’t,” she said. “Sherman did not deserve this.”
Grant’s attorney vowed to appeal, insisting his client was the passenger, not the driver.
Jawana Richardson said she will continue to lobby state lawmakers to stiffen penalties for hit-and-run drivers.