Driver who killed Emerson teens freed early

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: Over the objections of the victims’ families, a young motorist was released on supervisory parole after 10 months for killing two teenaged occupants from Emerson in a November 2008 crash.

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Kevin M. Beattie Jr. with his mom & dad, months before he was killed

“I’d like to thank everyone for your support,” Suzanne Glock Beattie wrote to those who urged the state Parole Board keep the driver in the Jamesburg State Home for Boys for his full 15-month sentence for killing her 15-year-old son, Kevin Michael Beattie, and Thomas Carlis, 14.

The driver was speeding one November night two years ago when his Nissan Maxima rolled over several times on southbound Route 17 in Waldwick.

His eventual sentence — on two convictions of vehicular homicide — was originally set at 18 months, in conjuction with the wishes of the victims’ families, but a judge later reduced it to 15. Then the teen came up for early release for good behavior.

Families of both victims spoke at the Parole Board hearing two weeks ago. Beattie also sought help from various quarters, including CLIFFVIEW PILOT, which told her story. See: Mother of boy killed in crash asks Parole Board to make driver serve full sentence.

Beattie collected hundreds of names on an online petition that she gave to the board. She also received considerable help from State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder, who wrote to Parole Board Chairman James Plousis when he discovered the plight of the two families. See: State lawmaker Schroeder fights early release of driver who killed two teens

Thomas Carliss

“The driver has shown no remorse for his crime, nor has he apologized to the victims’ families,” Schroeder wrote in a letter to Plousis. “He demonstrated a reckless disregard for human life and needs to serve his full sentence in order to use that time to fully reflect on what he has done.”

A Parole Board spokesperson contacted Beattie with the news Thursday afternoon, informing her that the teen will be released into supervisory parole on Oct. 26.

“My family and I have a life sentence of pain from our devastating loss of Kevin,“ Suzanne Glock Beattie told CLIFFVIEW PILOT, “and this person is going to get out early?”

The crash occurred on a stretch of Route 17 that some compare to the Bermuda Triangle. Vehicles enter quickly from side streets there, while drivers heading south on the highway from New York don’t ease up on the gas after several miles of freeway driving.

For those youngsters to be there in the first place was inviting danger, loved ones said.

“We tried,” Beattie said. “Kevin and Tom are looking down and they know that. That’s what matters.

“Like my husband said to the parole board guy who called (he was just the messenger), unfortunately. my son doesn’t earn points for good behavior 12 foot under.

“I gave the messenger, and I know he’s only the messenger, a message, but I’m sure he’ll relay what was said in between my crying,” Beattie said.  “I told him right before the holidays: That’s nice. I said thanks for the gift.”

The gift goes to another family, and to a young man who must now rebuild his own life.

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