Michigan Parole Board rejected stricter supervision for local man now held in Florida murder case

Ingham County prosecutor sought a longer parole in assault case

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THURSDAY, June 2 — A man being held in a murder case in Florida was released from jail in Ingham County after the Michigan Parole Board overruled efforts by Prosecutor Carol Siemon to require stricter oversight.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is holding the man, Matthew Terry, 47, while it prepares a murder case against him. Officials allege Terry argued with an unidentified woman at a bar on Saturday then killed her. The woman received numerous stab wounds to her upper torso, law enforcement reported.

In July 2020, as the Parole Board was preparing to release Terry on parole after his 2017 conviction for assault with intent to do great bodily harm, Siemon sent a letter asking for a two-year parole period with stricter oversight for Terry. 

The July 2020 letter to Parole Board by Carol Siemon about Matthew Terry
The July 2020 letter to Parole Board by Carol Siemon about Matthew Terry

The reason? His attack nearly killed his victim, his then girlfriend. She was stabbed repeatedly and struck numerous times. She spent five days in intensive care.

“We went to trial on assault with intent to commit murder, and the jury convicted only for ‘great bodily harm.’ Nevertheless, I believe it’s fair to consider all of the evidence and conduct while he is under supervision,” Siemon wrote. “The injuries were found to be potentially life-threatening and this offender was fortunate to have a resilient victim and a sympathetic jury.”

Siemon asked the board to put Terry on a two-year parole, rather than one because of his lengthy history of alcohol and domestic violence crimes. The victim was afraid Terry would come after her. Siemon sought a tracking device for Terry as well. 

“Re-entry programming with adequate supervision will increase the chances that Mr. Terry will not recidivate,” Siemon wrote. “A GPS would hopefully keep him away from a past victim, but wouldn’t keep him from new abusive relationships. We see all too often with domestic abusers that they have serial relationships, each abusive. It’s our hope that we can break this pattern and that Mr. Terry will join the ranks of those who successfully complete MDOC parole and re-entry programming.”

Why the Parole Board denied the extra supervision and longer parole term is an unanswered question right now. A state Corrections Department spokesman said he was reviewing the case for answers. 

For more on this story as it develops, please check back at www.lansingcitypulse.com.

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