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Jury returns guilty verdicts against man in 1987 murders of Grand Rapids-area couple

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GRAND HAVEN, Michigan — A 51-year-old western Michigan man was found guilty Friday in the slayings of his sister and her husband in 1987 at their Grand Rapids-area home.

Ryan Wyngarden was convicted of two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Rick and Gail Brink, according to MLive.com. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month to life in prison.

Police have said Wyngarden was jealous of the couple for being successful and wanted to keep secret the sexual encounters he and his sister had as teenagers.

"We're done. We finally got him," Cheryl Murphree said after the jury in Ottawa County's Grand Haven announced its verdict against her brother. "He created this situation and now he has to pay for it.

PHOTO: Bud Brink, second from left, brother of murder victim Rick Brink, hugs prosecutor Lee Fisher after Ryan Wyngarden was found guilty of murder at Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven. Mich., Friday, March 28, 2014. Wyngarden was convicted of the 1987 killings of Gail and Rick Brink, his sister and brother-in-law. Also pictured are prosecutor Doug Mesman and Brink's wife, Melinda. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse)
Bud Brink, second from left, brother of murder victim Rick Brink, hugs prosecutor Lee Fisher after Ryan Wyngarden was found guilty of murder at Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven. Mich., Friday, March 28, 2014. Wyngarden was convicted of the 1987 killings of Gail and Rick Brink, his sister and brother-in-law. Also pictured are prosecutor Doug Mesman and Brink's wife, Melinda. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse)

"I still love him. He's my brother. But I hate what he did and I hate the person he became. My sister has been dead for 27 years because of his act. It hurts my heart."

Rick Brink, 28, and 22-year-old Gail Brink were shot to death at their Park Township home.

Wyngarden had told police he was doing laundry and babysitting for a friend at the time of the killings.

"We are extremely pleased to have the justice my brother deserves," Bud Brink, Rick Brink's brother, said after the verdict was read. "At least this gives us some closure as to how it happened and why it happened."

Pam Wyngarden, the wife of Ryan Wyngarden, was the prosecution's key witness against her husband during the trial. She was dating him at the time of the murders.

"It would have been nice if she had come forward in 1987, but that's that," Bud Brink said. "It took a lot for her to come forward."

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