Family of murder victim: We will fight to keep killer in prison

Family of murder victim: We will fight to keep killer in prison

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(WJBK) - A metro Detroit family has told FOX 2 the justice system has failed them once, and now they are afraid it is happening all over again.

"We knew that the man that killed our nephew would never leave prison," says Larry Puma.

At least that is what they believed.

He is said to the mastermind behind a brutal murder and Matthew Makowski has served 25 years behind bars for the robbery and the savage stabbing death of Pete Puma in Dearborn in 1988.

His loved ones say it was set up by Makowski, someone Pete considered a friend.

"Matthew went so far as to be at the hospital holding my sister-in-law's hand, showing his grief for this encounter. He also delivered the eulogy at the funeral, saying he would do anything in his power to find out who killed his friend, Peter," says Larry, Pete's uncle.

Larry says Makoski should never see freedom, but freedom may be exactly what's before him.

Because in 2010, Gov. Jennifer Granholm pardoned this prisoner's sentence.

"Jennifer Granolm, the governor then at that point, listened to our outcries because we did not have our rights to tell our side of the story when he was up for the parole board," Larry says.

There voices were finally heard and 48 hours later Granholm had a change of heart and changed her mind.

Makowski almost tasted his independence but it looks like he could be looking forward to it again because of a court ruling that was just handed down on Tuesday.

"We find out through the news that he's going to be eligible for parole and get out of prison. It broke our hearts. Luckily, I was able to put some things together to stop that from happening and we thought, again, it was over only to find out that decision was overturned by the Supreme Court of Michigan," Larry says.

Granholm's decision was overturned, citing that a governor cannot grant a pardon and turn around and take it back.

But the Puma family is not taking this without another fight.

"I want the governor of Michigan, the parole board and anybody who has to make a decision to know that this man, even though they say he's turned Christian, in our eyes - that's another way that he can find a way to get out of jail," Larry says. "I am the remaining uncle that will fight to make sure this gentlemen does not leave that cell until he dies."

FOX 2's Andrea Isom reports the family also says Makowski has not shown any remorse and has not paid any of the restitution he owes the family.

The family will go before the parole board next Wednesday.


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