September 19, 2018
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today renewed his call to the Michigan Parole Board to not release convicted murderer Matthew Makowski, MDOC #198702. Makowski is scheduled to be released tomorrow, September 20, unless the Parole Board reverses their decision.
In recent media comments, the family of Pietro Puma II, whom Makowski was convicted of murdering, indicated that they do not want Makowski released and that they have attended all his parole board hearings and expressed their opposition.
“This is about the family of the victim, this is about keeping someone convicted of first degree murder out of our communities,” said Schuette. “Michigan made the decision long ago to reserve prison space for the most dangerous offenders. And Mr. Makowski fits that profile. His crime was not some spur of the moment action, and the robbery resulting in murder was not the fault of someone else. He masterminded a scheme that stole the life of a young man whose family still mourns for him.”
Makowski was convicted in 1989 of first degree murder, following the fatal stabbing of 19-year-old Pietro Puma, his co-worker at a Dearborn health club. Makowski, then age 20, arranged for Puma to be robbed en route to the bank and had planned to split the money with the robber. When Puma resisted the robbery attempt, the robber stabbed him with a knife resulting in his death.
Makowski was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In 2010, an assistant attorney general under then-Attorney General Mike Cox voiced the Department's opposition at Makowki's commutation hearing.
In 2010, then-Governor Jennifer Granholm officially commuted Makowski's sentence despite the Department of Attorney General’s objection. Later she attempted to reverse her decision only to be overruled by the Michigan Supreme Court in June 2014, when they said Granholm did not have the power to reverse her decision, making Makowski eligible for parole.