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Holland double-murderer loses another appeal

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Sep 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM

After losing his initial appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals, former Zeeland resident Ryan Wyngarden has lost another appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court last week.

Wyngarden was convicted in 2014 of killing his sister and her husband, Gail and Rick Brink. The murders happened in 1987 at the Brinks’ Park Township home. Both were shot multiple times in the head.

During the trial, prosecutors said Wyngarden had a sexual relationship with his sister when the two were teens. Police believe he killed the Brinks over jealously of their relationship, as well as trying to cover up the incestuous relationship.

Wyngarden’s wife, Pam, was key to the jury conviction in 2014. She testified her then-boyfriend confessed to killing the Brinks shortly after shooting them.

Wyngarden took Pam to the murder scene and showed her Gail’s dead body. During the trial, Pam testified Wyngarden threatened he would do the same to her if she ever told police.

Wyngarden appealed his conviction in 2015, but lost. So far, the Ottawa County Circuit Court, Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court have denied appeals for Wyngarden.

In February, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied Wyngarden’s request for more time to appeal the Circuit Court’s decision not to grant his motion for a relief of his life sentence.

On Sept. 12, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected another attempt by Wyngarden to apply for more time to reopen the case. In its decision, the court stated Wyngarden “has failed to meet the burden of establishing entitlement for relief.”

Wyngarden maintains his rights were violated in Ottawa County Circuit Court after an expert’s testimony was limited, and he claims his wife was manipulated by police. Wyngarden’s appeals attorney also claimed in his initial appeal that any information about his alleged sexual relationship with his sister should not have been admitted to the court.

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