Prosecution: Wyngarden wanted to hide sexual relationship with sister

The prosecution continued its steady, patient attack on Ryan Wyngarden’s testimony Wednesday in the defendant’s second day on the witness stand in his double murder trial.
The Holland Sentinel
Mar 27, 2014

The judge had to repeatedly intervene to make Wyngarden answer questions and stop talking.

Wyngarden’s testimony could end this morning, and both sides could give their closing arguments before the end of the day in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven. The case could go to the jury on Friday.

“This is hard for me,” Wyngarden said after the judge asked the jury to leave the courtroom less than 10 minutes into Wyngarden’s questioning on his sexual relationship with his younger sister Gail.

“Mr. Wyngarden! Mr. Wyngarden! Mr. Wyngarden!” Judge Jon Hulsing repeated as the defendant continued to talk. “You can’t argue with me.”

The judge reminded him to answer the questions from the attorney and advised him to stop being confrontational in front of the jury.

“If you don’t, those 12 to 13 people are going to be judging your credibility,” Hulsing told Wyngarden.

The prosecution says Wyngarden killed Gail and her husband, Rick Brink, out of jealously and to cover up an incestuous relationship when the siblings were teens. Both victims were shot in the head in their Park Township home in November 1987.

In testimony on Tuesday, Wyngarden described the encounters as “comparing body parts,” some groping and touching genitals while fully clothed.

On Wednesday, prosecution attorney Lee Fisher referred to earlier interviews with detectives in which Wyngarden said there was penetration. Wyngarden denied the charge, saying at one point, “I was 14 years old, my goodness.”

The judge told Wyngarden to answer the attorney’s questions and not ramble.

“I understand you’re impassioned,” Hulsing said, adding later, “Take a deep breath. Take a drink of water. Get your breath.”Wyngarden faces two charges of first-degree premeditated murder and will serve life in prison if convicted.

CLICK HERE to read the whole story from The Holland Sentinel. Follow Jim Hayden on Twitter@SentinelJim.

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