Convicted murderer Ryan Wyngarden talked for almost an hour, proclaiming his innocence at least a dozen times and belittling the prosecutors, detectives and judge throughout his sentencing at Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven on Monday morning.
When Judge Jon Hulsing began to speak, Wyngarden continued talking, just as he had done during the three-week trial.
“I did not interrupt you, sir. Now it’s my turn,” Hulsing said, though Wyngarden continued to murmur and once cursed the judge.
“Do I have to bind and gag you?” Hulsing pointedly told him. “I’ll have deputies duct-tape your mouth.”
Hulsing sentenced Wyngarden to the state-required life in prison without parole for the execution-style murder of Gail and Rick Brink in their Park Township home 26 years ago. Both victims were shot in the head.
“You are a brutal, cold-blooded murderer,” the judge said.
A jury convicted Wyngarden on March 28 on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder for the Nov. 21, 1987, shooting deaths of his sister Gail and her husband. The prosecution said Wyngarden killed the couple because he was jealous of the pair and didn’t want it known that he had sex with Gail.
Rick’s brother, Budd Brink, thanked the court and detectives on Monday for the “unrelenting investigative process” that solved the cold case killings.
“For over 25 years, we’ve looked over our shoulders wondering who committed this crime,” he told the judge.
Brink said the punishment will not bring Rick back and will not reform Wyngarden, but it will keep him from committing more crimes.
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