Defense highlights discrepancies in wife’s accounts to police

The defense began its cross-examination Friday of a woman who says her husband, Ryan Wyngarden, confessed to killing two people in 1987.
The Holland Sentinel
Mar 15, 2014

Pam Wyngarden resumed testimony Friday morning after about three hours on the witness stand for the prosecution on Thursday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven.

Ryan Wyngarden, 52, of Zeeland, faces two charges of first-degree premeditated murder for the shooting deaths of Rick and Gail Brink at their Park Township home. If found guilty, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

On Friday, Pam Wyngarden told the jury that her husband would not allow her to have any friends after they were married.

“It was one of his ways of controlling me,” she said.

She also said Ryan has tried to contact her since he was arrested in January 2013, including two phone calls in which she didn’t speak to him. In one of the calls, he wished her a happy wedding anniversary.

He also sent about 30 letters to her asking her to recant her testimony, she said.

The defense first focused on Pam Wyngarden’s relationship with her father, whom she earlier called mentally abusive and who she said didn’t take an interest in her personal life.

The defense highlighted a relationship Pam Wyngarden once had with a man who had a criminal record, a relationship of which her father disapproved. Defense attorney David Hall asked her if her father was right about not wanting her to date the man.

“Yes,” Pam Wyngarden said.

She also said Ryan was a good father to their three children and a child she had from a previous relationship.

Hall spent much of the morning comparing Pam Wyngarden’s answers to an October 2012 interview with her testimony in court, noting many discrepancies and the 32 times she told detectives in 2012 that she couldn’t recall details around the 1987 murders. Hall also quoted parts of the 2012 interview in which Pam Wyngarden said she felt pressured by detectives to answer questions.

The trial will resume next week.
 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.