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State lawmaker Schroeder fights early release of driver who killed two teens

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder is asking State Parole Board Chairman James Plousis to keep the driver who killed two Emerson teens locked up for his full 15-month sentence and deny an early release after 10 months.

Schroeder, left, and Kevin

“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.”

The then-17-year-old driver was originally sentenced to 18 months incarceration for vehicular homicide after prosecutors proved that he was speeding that November night two years ago when his Nissan Maxima rolled over several times on southbound Route 17 in Waldwick.

The sentence — on two convictions of vehicular homicide — was later reduced to 15 months.

Now, the teen responsible for killing Kevin Michael Beattie, 15, and 14-year-old Thomas Carlis — also of Emerson, who was in the back seat — is looking at an early release.

Tom Carlis

“The negative impact on the Beattie family has been considerable,” Schroeder wrote. The same goes for Tom’s family, as well as that of the driver. (See: Emerson teen’s tragic death devastates family, mom tells Parolel Board )

Beattie’s mother has contacted other North Jersey lawmakers, hoping they will follow suit. Time is tight: She said she and Tom’s mother were told to expect a decision sometime this coming week.

“The two families agreed to 18 months,” Suzanne Glock Beattie said. “The judge knocked it down to 15 months — and now that could be lowered as well for ‘good behavior.’

“My family and I have a life sentence of pain from our devastating loss of Kevin, 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.

Suzanne Glock Beattie got several hundred names on an online petition. It says, in part: “Help us make the Parole Board keep him in for his full sentence.”

She submitted the names to the board, along with all of the paperwork from the crash and letters written on her behalf.

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