ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who shot and injured an 84-year-old woman who had stopped at his home to campaign against abortion was charged on Friday.
Richard Harvey, 74, was arraigned on charges of felonious assault, careless discharge of a weapon causing injury and reckless use of a firearm. Bond was set at $10,000 cash/surety.
911 recordings obtained Friday by News 8 show it happened about 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20, which is when Harvey’s wife, Sharon Harvey, called police.
“Some lady over here wouldn’t leave my property, and she should be arrested,” Sharon Harvey told the dispatcher.
Joan Jacobson, a longtime Right to life volunteer, showed up at the home in Odessa Township to push for a no vote against Proposal 3, which would enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution.
“She drove on my grass,” Sharon Harvey told the dispatcher. “She’s trying to get me to sign a petition, and I won’t do it, and I told her to get off my property, and she wouldn’t go. My husband nicked her with a gun.”
The dispatcher pushed for more details.
“So he did shoot at her?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yes,” the woman responded.
“He did shoot her?
“He shot at her,” Sharon Harvey answered.
“And it hit her?”
“It scraped her,” the woman answered.
At first, Right to Life of Michigan said the shot hit Jacobson in the back as she was walking away. But the prosecutor said the shot hit her in the right shoulder and exited her back. She is recovering.
Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler said Michigan State Police turned over their investigation Friday morning. Charges were filed and Harvey turned himself into the jail later the same day.
In an interview with News 8, the Right to Life volunteer denied arguing during the 10 minutes or so she was outside the Harveys’ house and said she started leaving when asked.
Richard Harvey told News 8 he heard the arguing from his barn, grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and fired a warning shot into a tree.
“There’s allegedly requests by the homeowners, including the defendant, for the victim to leave the property,” the prosecutor told the judge during the arraignment. “When apparently the victim was not leaving the property either fast enough or at all, the defendant decided to fire what was characterized as a warning shot towards a tree on the property.”
The prosecutor told the judge the victim apparently still didn’t leave and was allegedly waving around a clipboard near Harvey’s wife.
“He (Richard Harvey) allegedly made a movement to knock the clipboard out of the way with that firearm, allegedly in order to keep the victim from hitting his wife with the clipboard,” the prosecutor said during Friday’s arraignment.
The victim has denied waving around the clipboard and told News 8 that Harvey was about 7 feet away when he fired the shot.
The prosecutor said evidence suggests otherwise.
“The firearm discharged into the clipboard, leaving what appears to be gunshot residue on the clipboard, indicating the firearm was discharged in very close proximity to the clipboard,” the prosecutor said in court.
The woman drove herself to a nearby police station.
“The discussion that they had, the topic they were discussing makes no matter to me whatsoever, makes no matter to law enforcement agencies,” the prosecutor said outside the courtroom. “The bottom line is there was an argument of some type, it reached a level that a gun was introduced into the situation and someone got shot.”
Harvey’s wife sat in the courtroom as her husband was charged through video.
“It was awful,” she said. “Richard’s never been in trouble before. If that lady had just left when she was told.”
Felonious assault carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.