A Michigan man who shot an 84-year-old pro-life woman who came to his door is not going to have to serve a day in jail over the incident, apparently.
On Sept. 20, Richard Harvey, 75, shot Joan Jacobson, 84, when she approached his door in Odessa Township, located approximately 130 miles northwest of Detroit, The Associated Press reports.
During the encounter, Jacobson engaged in a conversation with Richard Harvey’s wife, Sharon Harvey, at the door. They reportedly had an argument, with Jacobson urging Sharon to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment that aimed to establish legal abortion protections within Michigan’s constitution, Sharon told police.
“This lady comes up to me, knocks on my door, and says she’s from some coalition to save women and babies,” Sharon Harvey said. “She needed me to vote no on Proposal 3.”
“I told her I can’t do that and she says, ‘Well, you have to.’ I says, ‘No, I don’t. It’s not going to happen,’” she said. “I told her I had a four-and-a-half month tubal pregnancy, and she says, ‘Well, you survived, didn’t you?’”
The amendment passed in November, the AP reported.
Jacobson was actively volunteering door-to-door with Right to Life, a national anti-abortion organization. Harvey’s wife, who is pro-abortion, told police she remembers asking Jacobson to leave on multiple occasions. Eventually, Jacobson complied and stepped away from their front porch.
Richard Harvey, meanwhile, told investigators he heard a “bunch of screaming” and came out of his barn armed with a .22 caliber rifle and fired what he said was a warning shot, which struck Jacobson.
Harvey said it was a mistake.
“She is still ranting and raving and she’s got this clipboard. She’s waving it around. I’m thinking she’s going to smack Sharon with it. So without thinking, I went to club it away with the rifle and my finger was still in the trigger guard. It went off and hit her about in here,” Harvey told local News 8, going on to point at his right shoulder.
“I shot somebody. It was an accident,” he added.
But Jacobson said he believes the firing was intentional.
According to Right to Life, Jacobson was peacefully walking away when she was shot in the back. However, Harvey disputes the sequence of events described by the organization.
Jacobson sustained a shoulder wound but managed to drive herself to a nearby police station. She received medical treatment at a hospital and eventually made a full recovery.
Harvey was handed a suspended jail sentence of two months, indicating that he is not likely to serve time unless he violates the law. Additionally, he was placed on one year of probation with a delayed sentence. As part of his sentencing, he is required to pay $347.19 in restitution and is prohibited from having any contact with Jacobson, reports added.
Last month, Harvey pled no contest to felonious assault, careless discharge of a firearm causing injury, and reckless discharge of a firearm.