Man charged in fatal Carlstadt hit-and-run released on home detention

  • In US
  • 2023-02-04 09:14:12Z
  • By The Bergen Record

The driver accused in the Carlstadt hit-and-run that left a Secaucus woman dead in mid-January will be subject to home detention, a judge decided on Friday.

Justinian Cuevasmetemi, 70, of Passaic, was arrested Jan. 21 after he allegedly fled the scene of the crash that killed pedestrian Deborah Peko-Lillis.

Peko-Lillis was crossing Hoboken Road in Carlstadt when she was struck by the 2017 Toyota RAV-4 allegedly being driven by Cuevasmetemi. She worked in the advancement office of St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City beginning in 2010, the year her son, Kyle, graduated from the school.

Cuevasmetemi's attorney Adam Richmond Conrad and Bergen County Prosecutor Christine Howland told Judge James Sattely that they agreed on the defendant's release and home detention with the condition he surrender his driver's license and passport.

Cuevasmetemi may not leave his house unless he is attending work, a doctor's appointment, a meeting with his attorney, pretrial services or appearing in court.

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He questioned Sattely on how he was supposed to receive groceries or get to places and the judge told him he would have to find a way to make arrangements with his daughter or take public transportation.

"You are not permitted to drive a car at all or any type of vehicle while these charges are pending," Sattely told Cuevasmetemi.

Cuevasmetemi was charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, and third-degree endangering an injured victim. He was also served with multiple motor vehicle summonses.

In a statement from St. Peter's Prep President Michael Gomez, he said Peko-Lillis was a dedicated member of its staff and "left her mark" on everyone with her "tremendous and generous heart."

"Our love and prayers are with Debbie's family in this difficult time," Gomez said.

She is survived by her husband, Bill Lillis; her son Kyle, and his wife Andrea; granddaughter Francesca Rose Lillis; her brother, James Peko, and sisters-in-law, according to her obituary.

This article originally appeared on Carlstadt NJ hit-and-run suspect released to home detention


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