ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : Young Christopher Beattie wanted to tell the state Parole Board why the teen responsible for killing his teenaged brother and a 14-year-old friend should serve out his sentence and not be released a few months early. But he didn’t say much during Wednesday‘s hearing.Chris at the grave of brother Kevin (top right and seated)
In fact, Chris hasn’t said much at all since Kevin Beattie was killed on Route 17 after the reckless speedster behind the wheel — still in custody in Jamesburg — lost control and rolled his car.
Chris was only 13 when his mother got the call. Soon after Kevin’s funeral, “he just lost himself,” she said.
“He loved his brother sooooo much,” Suzanne Glock Beattie told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “He wanted to do whatever he did, go wherever he went.”
Once a good student as well as a solid baseball player, Chris simply lost his motivation after Kevin died.
Emerson school officials did their best to reach him. “They bent over backwards,” his mom said. But he often left school without permission, or talked back. He even took up smoking.
Finally, in April, Suzanne and Christopher’s dad met with school officials, who recommended several private schools that might work better for him.
“We were mortified,” Suzanne Glock Beattie told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “He was scared as well. I just buried one son, and now I have to send my only other child away?”
The good news is that they found a good school in Connecticut. Chris has been getting A’s and B’s since he started in early May. But it’s year-round. Her boy wants to come home, Suzanne said.
“Chris will have to go to this school for 12 to 18 months to find himself again,” his mother said. “But the kid who killed my son, who only got 15 months, should be released early? The money we have to lay out for this school is exorbitant, and we have to work with the insurance companies.”
Chris came home this weekend and made the trip to Trenton. But he kept his presentation to the Parole Board low-key.
“He knows how upset we are and he doesn’t want to upset us more,” his mother said. “That‘s the kind of kid he is: big, big heart. Just like his brother.”
A for Suzanne herself:
“Nothing can hurt me any longer. PeopLe worry about the silliest things until something like this happens to them, and everything is then in perspective.
“Even when I got cancer. There was no emotion. I think the nurses were amazed. They said, ‘You’re taking this so well.’ I said, ‘It’s only my breasts. After you lost a son (who wasn’t sick) at 15, cancer is no big deal.”
The Beattie family was told to expect a decision within a week on whether the driver will be released. The board now has all of the paperwork from the crash — including the toxicology report on the driver — as well as letters collected by the Beatties and a hard copy of a petition the family is circulating online ( CLICK HERE TO SIGN IT ).
Still, no stack of papers — no matter how high they reach — can properly assess the effect that a single, irresponsible act can have, especially on a sweet, loving, impressionable young boy who idolized a brother taken from him way too early.
ALSO SEE : Mother of boy killed in crash asks Parole Board to make driver serve full sentence
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