MINEOLA, Long Island - A Long Island man was sentenced Friday to 14 to 30 years behind bars in a fatal DWI hit-and-run and arson.
Madi Grant, 36, of Oyster Bay crashed into another car on the Southern State Parkway in December 2014.
For Jawana Richardson, no amount of jail time would be enough for Madi Grant, the drunk driver who left her husband to die on the Southern State Parkway.
"I will never, I can't. I know my husband forgives him, God forgives him, but in my heart I can't. Sherman did not deserve this," Jawana said.
The DA says that Grant spent several hours in a strip club in Queens where he drank alcohol and smoked marijuana and then left at 5:30 a.m.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. Grant accelerated the car across all three lanes of traffic from the left to the right lane and slammed into the rear of the car driven by 59-year-old ironworker Sherman Richardson of Hempstead, who was on his way to work.
Grant was travelling 84 mph at the time of the crash. The force of Grant's speed and the impact caused Richardson's car to veer off of the Parkway, where it slammed into a tree on the side of the road, killing him immediately.
Despite Good Samaritan's best efforts, they couldn't catch Grant as he sped off, but they did provide a description to police.
Later that day, the DA says Grant hired someone to light the car on fire in order to destroy evidence.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. the car was found fully engulfed in flames in a residential neighborhood, in front of the house where Grant's children live.
Grant was arrested nearly a year later on manslaughter and other charges, because it took that long to piece the case together.
Although he didn't intend to kill Richardson said the judge, "...he did intend to drive drunk and that was his choice and that choice caused the death of Sherman Richardson."
"Sherman Richardson should still be alive with his wife, Jawana, and their family, friends and co-workers but for the egregious, criminal acts of this selfish, reckless defendant that shock the conscience," DA Madeline Singas said. "This case was solved and successfully prosecuted because of the tenacious work of the New York State Police and my Assistant Das. But, all across this state, many victims of crashes like this one do not receive justice. I am proud to stand with Jawana Richardson - and the many other victims of vehicular crimes - and call again for desperately needed reforms to vehicular crimes statutes. Penalties for hit and runs, and suspended license drivers who kill, must be raised."
"If there is a situation where you cause the death of someone else and then you choose to leave the scene, that's a separate crime, and you will be punished separately than in the first incident," said Stefani Palma, a prosecutor.
Grant was found guilty of manslaughter, arson, vehicle manslaughter, DWI, DWAI, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting and conspiracy.
In court, Grant offered no apology, because his lawyer says he's determined to appeal.
"This case is going to be appealed. There was a factual issue of who actually was the driver of the car," said Donald Rollock, defense attorney.