Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Driver Up for Parole in Fatality

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Driver Up for Parole in Fatality

Article excerpt

Just months after he was sentenced to prison on vehicular homicide charges related to the death of a 20-year-old Paramus woman, a Morris County man with a long history of brushes with the law is up for parole. Authorities are poised to make a decision in the coming weeks.

Phil Cise, 51, was under the influence of painkillers when his pickup swerved into the shoulder of a road in Pennsylvania on July 14, 2012, fatally striking Gabrielle Reuveni, Paramus High School's 2010 valedictorian, as she was out for a run near her family's vacation home in the Poconos.

Cise was sentenced in September to three to six years in a Pennsylvania state prison but is eligible to be considered for parole because of jail time served in Pike County, Pa., while his case was being heard. It was delayed in 2014, when Cise was deemed not competent to stand trial after a psychiatrist said he stopped taking medications for his mental illnesses and did not appear to know why he was in jail.

A spokeswoman with the Pennsylvania state Parole Board said this week that Cise had been given a hearing before the board last month, but she declined to specify the date, saying only that it was scheduled for February. The board typically issues decisions six to eight weeks after the hearing, she said.

Last year, Cise pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while under the influence just as the case was about to go to trial in July, and later was sentenced to three to six years in prison and four years of supervised release.

Not a 'good candidate'

Michael and Jacqueline Reuveni, the woman's parents, met with Parole Board members in Harrisburg, Pa., in January to tell them about their daughter, describing her as someone with enormous potential and a member of the track team at Washington University. They said they wanted to highlight for the board Cise's history of minor criminal offenses, which included multiple warrants issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court in New Jersey.

"This is someone who has consistently been able to get away with things," Jacqueline Reuveni said in an interview this week. …

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