A resident of Southfield, whose daughter bore witness to the harrowing spectacle of her children’s brutal slaying last month, had advocated a decade ago for the release of the very individual currently accused in the quadruple homicides, as per records.
Fred Harris, a pastor and advocate for civil rights, had championed the cause for the liberation of Gregory Green, who had been incarcerated for the murder of his former spouse and unborn child in 1991, according to documentation retrieved by The Detroit News from the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Green now stands charged with the shooting of his current spouse—Harris’ own daughter, Faith Harris-Green—and the subsequent demise of her four offspring.
Harris, now 78 years of age, an esteemed pastor affiliated with the Church of the Risen Christ Ministries International in Detroit, penned at least two correspondences endorsing Gregory Green, a former parishioner and his future son-in-law.
“In the time preceding his misfortune and subsequent incarceration, Gregory and I enjoyed a friendship,” Harris inscribed on August 17, 2005. “I hold the belief that he has atoned for his tragic lapse in self-control and the extensive harm he has inflicted to the fullest extent possible, and he carries the burden of remorse. This, however, will not resurrect the lives that were lost; that burden he will bear for the duration of his existence.”
The subsequent year, Harris reiterated his support for Green’s release. “I have observed a substantial amount of personal growth, accompanied by a noteworthy maturation of his comprehension and cognitive abilities,” Harris conveyed. “Should he be granted freedom, he would be welcomed into our ecclesiastical community, and we would extend any assistance required to facilitate his reintegration.”
When contacted by a reporter from The Detroit News on Tuesday evening, Harris declined to offer commentary.
Green pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1992 and was handed a prison sentence ranging from 15 to 25 years.
In subsequent years, Green’s requests for parole were denied on four separate occasions—twice in 2004 and twice in 2006—prior to being granted release in 2008, as attested by correctional authorities. At least five distinct members of the parole board vetoed his initial bids; the names Enid Livingston and Barbara Sampson appear on the successful 2008 application after their roles in opposing Green’s earlier parole petitions. Efforts to reach both Sampson and Livingston on Tuesday proved futile.
According to the correctional department’s policy and website, panels consisting of three members are tasked with parole decisions. However, due to unanimous votes, Green’s records only feature two members; their alignment in voting accounts for this absence, officials stated.
“Decisions can be rendered by the first two members of a three-member panel, provided their judgments are congruent,” explained Holly Kramer, the Corrections spokeswoman. “In instances of divergent votes, the third member of the panel casts a deciding vote.”
Nonetheless, even if the Parole Board had persisted in denying Green’s release, he would have served his full sentence by 2012 due to the accumulation of sentence-reducing disciplinary credits, Kramer clarified.
Two years post-release, Green entered into matrimony with Harris-Green on December 18, 2010. Harris’ letters do not unveil whether Green was acquainted with his daughter prior to his prolonged confinement.
Nevertheless, their relationship was characterized by turbulence, with Harris-Green, aged 39, initiating divorce proceedings in October 2013 and subsequently in August 2016.
A month thereafter, it is alleged that Green contacted emergency services at 1:15 a.m. on September 21, waiting for the arrival of the police in the driveway of his residence situated on the 4400 block of Hipp in Dearborn Heights. Upon investigation within the premises, Harris-Green was discovered in the basement, restrained by adhesive tape and zip ties.
Prosecutors contend that Green bound and assaulted his spouse prior to compelling her to witness the execution of her two elder offspring. Additionally, Green stands suspected of causing the demise of their two younger daughters through carbon-monoxide poisoning, as per official sources.
Green faces charges encompassing four counts of first-degree murder, along with single counts of assault with the intent to inflict grievous harm, torture, unlawful confinement, felonious assault as a felon in possession, and possession of a firearm during a felony. A hearing to establish probable cause is scheduled for Wednesday at the 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights.