Wyngarden’s wife to testify

The wife of the man accused of a double murder is expected to take the witness stand today in Ottawa County Circuit Court.
The Holland Sentinel
Mar 13, 2014

Pam Wyngarden has been called the “linchpin” of the case against Ryan Wyngarden because she said he confessed to the nearly 26-year-old murders.

She could take the stand in the afternoon, according to prosecuting attorney Lee Fisher.

Ryan Wyngarden, 52, of Zeeland, is facing two charges of first-degree premeditated murder for the killings of Rick and Gail Brink in their home on Ransom Street in Park Township in 1987.

Pam, who married Ryan in 1989, told police in October 2012 that her husband’s alibi was false. Then, on Jan. 18, 2013, she told police that her husband confessed to the killings the weekend they occurred. Ryan Wyngarden was arrested three days later.

Defense attorney David Hall said she was swayed by “suggestive” police questioning that placed ideas in her mind.

The trial was to resume this morning in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven, with Judge Jon Hulsing presiding.

Testimony in the double murder trial turned to the technical side Wednesday as experts explained how Gail and Ryan Brink died, DNA evidence, fingerprints, and the difference in types of guns.

Firearms expert James Pickelman, a retired forensic scientist from the Michigan State Police who responded to the murder scene in 1987, said the three bullets fired into Gail’s head and the two shot into Rick’s head could have come from the same gun, but he could not positively say it was from the same weapon because the bullets were badly damaged on impact with the victims.

The defense has suggested there were two people involved in the killings that could have been a case of mistaken identity by a vengeance-seeking motorcycle gang. The previous owners of the Brink house were involved with a gang that trafficked drugs, the defense said.

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