LANSING -The Michigan Parole Board has reconsidered its decision to grant Michigan Department of Corrections prisoner Floyd Jarvi's parole after an appeal of the board's previous decision.
The appeal was submitted by Attorney General Dana Nessel to the Livingston County Circuit Court in December 2022.
The Parole Board's reconsideration and denial of parole comes after Livingston County Circuit Court Judge L. Suzanne Geddis granted Nessel's emergency stay of enforcement of the order to release Jarvi on parole until an appeal hearing could be conducted.
Jarvi, now 63, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 25 to 60 years in prison for his 1993 assault, rape, and kidnapping of Wendy Jo Morrison as she was driving home about 12:30 a.m. from a waitressing job at Grady's Restaurant at the Novi Mall. Morrison has spoken publicly about the case.
"Attorney General Dana Nessel personally responded to my concerns about Jarvi's release," Morrison said in a press release issued Friday. "She made me feel heard and seen when I was ready to give up and has reaffirmed my faith in the justice system. I am grateful to Dana Nessel, Assistant Attorney General John Pallas, and everyone at the Department of Attorney General who worked on this case to help keep our community safe."
In October, the Parole Board voted to grant Jarvi parole after 28 years in prison for multiple crimes, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, armed robbery and felony firearm possession.
"We are grateful the Parole Board understood the importance of our appeal and made the decision to reverse itself," Nessel said. "It took immense courage for the victim to ask for our assistance and we had an obligation to act. Our department will continue to work vigorously on behalf of victims and the safety of the public."
Jarvi, who was sentenced in 1994, became eligible for parole in 2014 and was repeatedly denied it until October 2022. Had the emergency stay not been granted, Jarvi would have been released from prison on Dec. 20.
In a hearing in mid-Decmeber, Assistant Attorney General John Pallas emphasized to Geddis the need for Jarvi to stay behind bars at least until his hearing because of his behavior toward women.
In a psychological examination earlier this year, it was suspected that he was "holding back," Pallas told Geddis. In the examination, Jarvi said he was trying to keep himself from saying anything derogatory toward women.
"His hostility toward women is very, very concerning and has even been noted by the parole board as recently as 2021," Pallas said. He shared several previous statements by Jarvi where he used derogatory terms to describe women, including that he thought some women might like to be raped.
He had already been moved to a parole processing facility in Jackson when Nessel's office appealed the decision after Livingston County Prosecutor David Reader's office didn't appeal the parole board's decision, despite a request from Morrison to do so.
It's not clear why Reader's office didn't appeal the board's decision. Reader has not responded to a request for comment from the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.
She told the Livingston Daily Wednesday that Reader's office did not file the necessary paperwork to appeal the parole board's decision before Nessel's filed the request in Livingston County. She called the decision by Reader's office "gross negligence."
Morrison told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus in 2018 that she had attended every parole hearing, calling it "the most terrible thing I have to do, every year."
Morrison said at the time that she used the traumatic event as a way of reaching out and helping others. The executive director of UBU Today in Brighton has the story of her rape when she was 19 publicly and was awarded the Governor's Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018 for her efforts in helping others.
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Floyd Jarvi denied parole after AG appeals Michigan Parole Board decision
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