A motorist who admitted being drunk during a 2015 hit-and-run crash that left a Freeport pedestrian dead is heading to prison.
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy on Friday sentenced Stephanie Beeker of Merrick to 1 ½ to 4 ½ years behind bars.
The crash happened at 11 p.m. on July Fourth as victim Ruben Ramirez, 42, tried to cross Sunrise Highway by the Meadowbrook State Parkway entrance, authorities said.
Beeker, then 66, hit and killed Ramirez before leaving the scene with a smashed windshield. Police arrested her after she called 911 from a relative’s home more than 45 minutes later to report the crash, according to authorities.
Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Dellinger told Murphy that police had previously arrested Beeker twice for driving while intoxicated.
In the Ramirez crash, Beeker pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and leaving the scene. She apologized in court Friday, telling the judge her actions were out of character and she had no words to describe her “true remorsefulness.”
But Murphy told her Ramirez “had the right to live his life to its fullest.”
“That was taken away from him by your actions on that night,” he said.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a prepared statement that Beeker was a repeat drunken driver who left the victim “to die in the street,” and she pledged to continue to push for tougher penalties for hit-and-run offenses.
Beeker’s attorney, Dennis Lemke of Mineola, described the sentence as fair afterward.
Prosecutors had recommended 2 to 6 years in prison.