Convicted murderer Matthew Makowski could walk free

Makowski was not present during the stabbing

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

DETROIT - A convicted murderer could walk free Thursday after spending three decades in prison.

Matthew Makowski was convicted of murder in the death of his coworker during a botched robbery attempt.

In 1988, Makowski was working at a health club in Dearborn when he arranged for someone to rob his coworker, Pietro Puma.

Puma was 19 years old when Makowski's accomplice stabbed him to death during a botched robbery. 

Makowski was not present during the stabbing. Despite that, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder, with no chance for parole.

Makowski applied to have his sentence commuted on the grounds of being a model prisoner for 25 years. In 2010, Jennifer Granholm, who was governor at the time, reviewed the case and commuted his sentence.

Her decision came despite the objections of then then-Attorney General Mike Cox.

Granholm changed her mind after hearing from the victim's family and attempted to pull the commutation.

Makowski's attorney went to the Michigan Supreme Court, which ruled that once a governor commutes a sentence, they cannot change their mind.

Makowski is set to be released Thursday unless the parole board intervenes.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is calling for the parole board to deny Makowski parole.

"To this day, Mr. Makowski denies responsibility for the murder, showing an advanced degree of contempt for the victim," Schuette said.

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