UPDATE: It may be difficult for many to believe, but a 67-year-old driver who sped off after a crash that killed a Hawthorne grandfather as he crossed a Glen Rock street was sentenced to a plea-bargained 364 days in the Bergen County Jail.
A clerk with the Criminal Division of Superior Court in Hackensack incorrectly reported a three-year state prison sentence for Marina Lee of Hawthorne earlier Monday.
It's actually less than a year in the county lockup in Hackensack, those who attended her Zoom-conferenced sentencing hearing on Friday.
Lee was driving a Chevy Tahoe that struck Biagio Lembo, 65, in front of the SuperFresh on Lincoln Avenue in Hawthorne on March 5, 2019.
Lee kept going, stopping at one point to clear her windshield of rice pudding that the victim had been carrying, authorities said.
Midland Park police said they found the widowed Lee with her heavily-damaged truck in the Burger King parking lot up the road. She said she thought she struck an animal, they said.
Lembo, who was his 90-something mother's primary caretaker, died eight days later at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson.
Born in Italy, Biagio settled in Paterson, where he was a former amateur boxer at Lou Costello’s gym and a short-order cook. He moved to Hawthorne in 2005.
Lee could have faced up to 12 years in prison if convicted during a trial. She took a plea deal from prosecutors instead.
In exchange for leniency, she pleaded guilty to knowingly leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death.
Family members spoke during the tele-conferenced sentencing hearing on Friday.
Two minutes could have saved his older brother's life if Lee had only stopped and called police, Anthony Lembo said.
Superior Court Judge Keith A. Bachman in Hackensack sentenced Lee to the agreed-upon sentence.
Lee had been free following two court appearances since the crash. Bachman sent her to the Bergen County Jail on Friday to serve out her time.
She's required to serve a little over seven months to be eligible for parole.
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