Double murder trial continues

On the stand today: Defendant’s sister recounts Wyngarden’s comments after murders
The Holland Sentinel
Mar 18, 2014

The sister of the defendant and one victim in the 1987 double murder of Gail and Rick Brink returned to the witness stand Tuesday morning as the second week of the trial continued in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven.

Cheryl Murphree first testified on the first day of the trial last week. She is the sister of defendant Ryan Wyngarden and victim Gail Brink.

Wyngarden is charged with two counts of premeditated murder of the couple in their Park Township home in November 1987. If found guilty, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Murphree described what Wyngarden said several days after the murder when the family was together before the funeral.

“He said, ‘You know, sometimes I wonder if I could have done this,’” Murphree told Lee Fisher, the prosecution’s lead attorney.

She then said Ryan Wyngarden talked about walking down the hall in the house and seeing Gail roll over on her left side.

“A comment like that, I couldn’t comprehend where that came from,” she said Tuesday.

Murphree recalled a later conversation in which she said Wyngarden told her he had gone through Gail’s personal papers and took letters from men that Wyngarden didn’t want their parents to see. Wyngarden said he destroyed the letters, she said.

She also recalled a phone conversation about 2000 when Wyngarden said he was having trouble with a rodent in his yard in Zeeland.

“He said, ‘I pulled out my .22 and shot it,’” Murphree testified, who then pressed Wyngarden about what he said. He then said he pulled out his “gun,” not a .22, she said.

Gail and Rick were killed by .22-caliber revolver, the prosecution said. A gun was never recovered.

Murphree and Wyngarden had a falling out after their father died in 2006 over veterans benefits for their mother, according to Murphree. The brother and sister now only talk “when it’s necessary,” Murphree said.

In October 2012, Wyngarden called Murphree to make amends, she said, and that Wyngarden had forgiven her. Murphree did not know that was when detectives had interviewed Wyngarden in relation to the murder of Gail and Rick Brink.

Testimony continued Tuesday afternoon when the defense cross-examined Murphree.

— By Jim Hayden, The Holland Sentinel


David Wyngarden

My sister Cheryl is a (DELETED) and so is Pam! My niece described to me stating how Pam lies! She'll sit and think of what to say, because she's not a good liar! Pam can't even remember details, but she supposably can about how Ryan supposably walked her into the house with no gloves and pulled the pillow off, and there were no fingerprints! I say bull(DELETED), because blood sitting for even 24 hours or more, would make the blood and pillow mix, I would think make a joining scabbing affect! It seems to me, like Pam is reading a transcript written by the detectives and the prosecution! Maybe they either scared her into a false statement or promised her money! None of her stories coincide with each other, and they keep changing! The blonde hair from the crime scene has disappeared and also the slugs too from evidence!

David Wyngarden

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks.


Do you really want to air your families personal dirty laundry in a public comment forum?

Tri-cities realist

Too late. And apparently personal attacks are OK here as long as you defame a family member or 2. Wow GH Trib, way to troll the gutter.


Uhh... I can't imagine this is good for the case in either direction... Family members blasting each other in the Tribune comment section...

Barry Soetoro

I'm always late for the good stuff...

Tri-cities realist

If memory serves me, the 2nd comment was no worse than the 1st.


The man has a point. I've known people who fit the mold of what Mr. Wyngarden describes.


How are we to know that this is really Wyngarden?

Barry Soetoro

It says David Wyngarden at the top of the comment.


Barry Soetoro




Wow, Barry, you must believe everything you read on the net!
I'm going to make a profile and call myself Honey Boo Boo.

Tri-cities realist

Apparently you are (allegedly) a little slow. If you can't understand Barry's comment, I won't distract from his humor by explaining it. Good luck.

Barry Soetoro

Thankfully you used "allegedly" so I didn't have to Alert Us.



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 Create a new account today to get started.