Ryan Wyngarden admits to inappropriate relations with his younger sister when he was 12 years old. But he claims that did not lead him to kill her and her husband 26 years ago, as authorities allege.
Prosecutors say the 51-year-old Michigan man shot Gail Brink and her husband Rick in their Park Township home in 1987, The Grand Rapids Press reports. They accused him of trying to cover up his past sex episodes and cited jealousy over Gail's new relationship as a motive.
The murder case went cold for two decades until Wyngarden's wife, Pam, told police that her spouse confessed to the killings just after they happened. She said she didn't come forward out of fear that he would hurt her, too, the New York Daily News reports.
Ryan Wyngarden's defense rested its case on Thursday after the suspect finished testifying.
Prosecutor Lee Fisher said in court that the inappropriate relationship involved penetration on several occasions, starting when she was just 9 years old, according to the Grand Haven Tribune. Wyngarden testified that the two were "comparing body parts" on the first occasion, but said that "there was nothing sexual about it."
The next time, several years later, Wyngarden said that the two were smoking marijuana and "just groped on each other a little bit." During the final occurrence, Wyngarden admits that the two touched genitals.
"My sister did not lose her virginity to me," he said.
Pam Wyngarden told the court that after Gail and Rick were killed on Nov. 21, 1987, Ryan took her to see the bodies. Police found them on Nov. 23. The Wyngardens had only known each other for about a month at the time. They married about two years later in 1989.
The trial is expected to go to the jury today.
Don’t miss out — be the first to know all the latest and breaking news. Learn more