Judge halts release of Alpine Manor murderer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the infamous Alpine Manor murderers who was set to be released Wednesday will stay in prison for now.

Kent County Judge Joseph Rossi issued a stay in the case of  Catherine Wood Tuesday. That means at this time, she will not be freed.

Attorney John Engman filed the petition to keep Wood behind bars. Engman is the son-in-law of one of the victims, May Mason. 

Wood  and Gwendolyn Graham suffocated five elderly women in their beds at the  Walker nursing home in 1987. All the victims suffered from Alzheimer’s  or dementia. Wood and Graham, both nurse’s aides at the home, were  reportedly trying to spell “murder” with the victim’s initials. 

Graham was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  

Wood has served 29 years of her 20- to 40-year prison sentence. She was granted parole on Oct. 1 and was set to be released Oct. 24.

A surprised Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said he didn’t know she was being released until he heard it on the news, but later announced he wouldn’t be appealing the decision.

The judge has 28 days from the day the petition was filed to make a final decision. 

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