Mount Clemens — The Michigan appeals court has cleared the way for the parole board to release a Macomb County man who fatally shot his ex-wife’s boyfriend in the back four times.

In 2014, a judge blocked parole for Steven Strutz, saying he was a threat to the public, based on his behavior in prison and other factors. But the appeals court last week said the parole board didn’t abuse its authority.

The court says Judge Jennifer Faunce improperly substituted her judgment. Strutz’ release from prison was opposed by prosecutor Eric Smith.

Strutz has been locked up since 1997. He said he had no memory of killing his ex-wife’s boyfriend because he was extremely drunk. He pleaded no contest to second-degree murder.

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