BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Saratoga Springs woman was sentenced to state prison for a 2015 deadly hit-and-run on Route 9 in Halfmoon.
Prosecutors proved Maria Lentini made 17 phone calls to family and friends in the aftermath of the fatal crash but never called 911. A jury found her guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. She will now spend 1 1/3 to four years in prison.
Police said Patrick Duff’s body became lodged in Lentini’s windshield.
It was an emotional day in court for his family. Several of Duff’s family members stood in front of Lentini during her sentencing on Thursday to tell her in detail of the life that was lost because of her actions. They described him as a fun uncle, a music lover and a sports fanatic.
Their names are not being disclosed to protect their identities.
Victim 1: “I can’t tell you how many people told me he was their best friend or like a brother or a son to them.”
Victim 2: “He was the godfather to my oldest child. He was an incredibly kind man, and he loved playing with the kids.”
Victim 3: “He had more friends than anyone else I knew.”
They remembered the moments they found out their brother and son had died after he was hit by a car.
Victim 4: “Distraught, sobbing, shocked, hysterical.”
Victim 3: “I continue to relive the loss of my son every day.”
Victim 1: “He won’t be at any future holidays. He won’t be at my wedding, and I won’t be at his.”
Lentini listened with her head hung, at times sobbing, and tears running down her cheek as she listened.
Victim 1: “I want ownership and responsibility for what you did after the accident.”
Victim 2: “Did Maria’s actions provide a blueprint to escape the law?”
Victim 3: “This tragedy has been compounded by Maria’s lack of compassion and disrespect for human life.”
Lentini declined her chance to say anything before being sentenced.
In addition to the statements read in court, more than 50 letters were sent to the judge by family and friends talking about the loss of Duff.