MSP seeks charges over shooting of Right to Life volunteer

ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Michigan State Police have asked the Ionia County prosecutor to file criminal charges against the man who shot and injured a woman who stopped at his home to fight against abortion, the prosecutor said Friday.

Ionia County District Attorney Kyle Butler said state police turned over his detection Friday morning, Arrest warrants sought for Richard Harvey, 74, for assault and reckless firing of a gun causing injuries.

Negligent bodily harm carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

“These are allegations that the Michigan State Police believe I should focus on,” Butler said.

Butler said he hopes to make a decision sometime on Friday.

Harvey told News 8 he accidentally shot the woman after she refused repeated requests to leave her property.

Joan Jacobson sits next to her attorney, David Kallman, during a Zoom interview with News 8 on September 29, 2022.
Joan Jacobson sits next to her attorney, David Kallman, during a Zoom interview with News 8 on September 29, 2022.

Joan Jacobson, 84, a Right to Life volunteer from Lake Odessa, told News 8 she was shot in the right shoulder while walking to her car to leave the property. She drove herself to a nearby police station.

Jacobson stopped at the Harveys’ home on West Bippley Road on September 20 to campaign against Proposition 3, which would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

Sharon Harvey told News 8 that she told the volunteer she wanted to vote yes to keep abortion legal. Then, she said, the volunteer started arguing with her.

Richard Harvey said he heard the argument, retrieved a .22 caliber rifle from his barn and fired a warning shot into a tree.

  • Richard and Sharon Harvey at their home near Lake Odessa. (09/27/2022)
  • Scarring on a tree hit by gunfire during an altercation between homeowners and a Right to Life volunteer near Lake Odessa September 20, 2022. (September 27, 2022)

He said it appeared the volunteer tried to hit his wife with a clipboard, so he used his rifle to knock the clipboard aside. That, he said, was when the gun was accidentally fired.

The Right to Life volunteer denied portraying the Harveys in an interview with News 8. She denied any argument and said she was leaving the property when she saw Harvey a few yards away with the gun.

“What struck me the most was that he had a gun, and it was a big gun. It was (a) long run and when it registered in my brain I heard a gunshot and felt pain,” she said.

Right to Life initially said the man shot her in the back as she walked away. However, the shot hit her in the shoulder and left her back.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/ionia-county/msp-asks-for-charges-in-shooting-of-right-to-life-volunteer/ MSP seeks charges over shooting of Right to Life volunteer

Dais Johnston

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