A Holbrook woman was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail and five years probation for leaving the scene without calling for help after her car hit and fatally injured a pedestrian in 2013.
“How could you be so cruel and so callous?” Tanya Larrydale of Holbrook, sister of the dead woman, Cheri Larrydale, asked defendant Felicia Marino in Suffolk County Court in Central Islip.
Tanya Larrydale said she was reading the victim impact statement on behalf of the entire Larrydale family, but she put aside the written statement at one point to tell Marino: “It would have been really comforting at some point for you to apologize to us.”
Defense attorney William Keahon, turning from Judge Fernando Camacho to address the family, said he had advised his client not to approach the family during prior court appearances.
Several members of the Larrydale family, including Cheri’s 16-year-old daughter, Kayla, were allowed to sit in the jury box to deliver victim impact statements, and several more sat in the audience. Before and after the court session they held hands in an alcove off the hallway and prayed.
Marino, 41, the owner of a Massapequa Park store that sells dancewear, said that from the moment she found out she had struck and killed someone, she had been, “in hysteria. I have never been the same.”
Breaking down in tears, she apologized to Larrydale family, saying: “She [the victim] is the reason I’m crying, not for me.”
Marino pleaded guilty last July to leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a fatality. She struck and killed Cheri Larrydale, 46, shortly after midnight on Oct. 5, 2013, on Veterans Memorial Highway near Broadway in Holbrook.
She did not stop, and later said she was unaware she had hit anyone, a contention also argued by Keahon, but rejected by the judge.
“In my mind, she knew she hit somebody and killed them,” Camacho said, adding that he would not have accepted a guilty plea if he had thought differently.
The family had asked for a lengthier sentence that involved upstate prison time.
Assistant District Attorney Maggie Bopp asked for a sentence of 1 to 3 years in upstate prison. Bopp said Marino never stopped and never called 911. The prosecutor said police were tipped off to Marino by a neighbor who had seen news reports about the fatality and overheard her saying, “I’m a murderer. I’m going to go to jail.”
The judge said it was “morally and ethically” wrong to abandon another person in need of help.
“At least hold them by the hand and let them die in dignity . . . don’t let them die alone,” he said. “That’s just basic human decency.”