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Man accused of shooting Right to Life volunteer gets probation, community service

Richard Harvey
Posted at 6:04 PM, May 23, 2023

IONIA, Mich. — Accused of shooting an 83-year-old canvasser, who was door-knocking for Right to Life, one Ionia man plead no contest and received his sentence on Tuesday.

Richard Harvey, of Ionia County, will get 12 months probation and 100 hours of community service.

READ: Man charged with shooting Right to Life volunteer

According to the Ionia County Prosecutor, Harvey will also face other consequences. His gun will be forfeited, and he can have no contact with the victim.

He will spend 60 days in prison if he does not meet the terms of the deal, the prosecutor said.

Harvey admitted to shooting Joan Jacobson, who was going door-to-door and campaigning with Right to Life of West Michigan in September 2022, ahead of the passage of Proposal 3. However, Harvey insisted he was trying to get Jacobson to leave his property after she fought with his wife.

He said his wife, Sharon, had endured an ectopic pregnancy, and she told Jacobson she wouldn't vote "no" on Proposal 3, which would enshrine reproductive rights into the state constitution. According to the Harvey's, Jacobson was told several times to leave, but she refused and became confrontational.

Harvey said he fired a warning shot.

On the other hand, Jacobson claimed she was walking away when she was shot. Just as she was leaving, she says Harvey came out of a barn on the property, holding a gun.

“I no sooner saw the man when I heard the shot, and I felt pain,” said Jacobson. “I was so stunned. He didn’t say anything to me, she didn’t say anything to me, I didn’t say anything to them.”

Jacobsen drove herself to the hospital after the shooting.

Richard Harvey had no prior criminal record. He plead no contest to three charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon, careless discharge, and reckless use of a firearm.

READ MORE: Ionia man charged with shooting a pro-life canvasser, but their stories vary

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