DETROIT (WXYZ) — Judy Eddy says it was 30 years ago today that the murder trial started in the death of her nephew.
Matthew Makowski would be convicted of killing Pietro Puma in a robbery, stabbing turned murder. Both worked together at a Vic Tanny Health Club in Dearborn.
Eddy said outside of court today, “Walk through life holding your head up high. There’s always a daily reminder of this tragedy.”
In 2010, then Governor Jennifer Granholm commuted Makowski’s life sentence, but then days later tried to revoke it. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that could not be done.
The Puma family then sued alleging the Michigan Parole Board abused its discretion in granting parole last year. They claimed their voices were not heard in the process.
Kerry Ann Ange argued for the Puma family that the sentencing judge wanted Makowski in prison for life, quoting him during the hearing as saying, “I’m going to recommend to the Governor, this prisoner never be pardoned, that his sentence never be commuted, that during the period of time he’s in the Department of Corrections he’s segregated from other individuals and may be capable of manipulation.”
But Judge Martha Snow, reading what the Parole Board did in looking over the history of the case and the incarceration, ruled no abuse of discretion and said, “The only tough aspect of this decision is the impact it may have on either family.”
Anthony Puma is a brother to the victim and said immediately after the ruling, “I’m appalled. I don’t know what else to say. We tried. We did our best.”
No official word on when Makowski will be released on parole.
Puma family members say he threatened them from prison. A condition of parole will be no contact with the family.