Jeffrey Pyne convicted of second-degree murder in mother's death - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Jeffrey Pyne convicted of second-degree murder in mother's death

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By Ronnie Dahl
Fox 2 News


PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) -- For a month, a twelve member jury sat through testimony, much of a graphic and disturbing.  Ruth Pyne was killed in her own home.  It took the jury less than two days to find her son guilty of her murder.

In family photos, the Pyne family appears happy.  The all-American family -- Bernie, the father and auto executive, Ruth, a stay at home mom, and son Jeffrey, a high school valedictorian and University of Michigan biology student, and then there was little sister Julie.

But Tuesday in Oakland County Circuit Court, there were no signs of that happy family as 22-year-old Jeffrey Pyne was found guilty for killing his mom.

"We the jury find the defendant guilty of second-degree murder," the foreman announced.

After a month of testimony, a jury of eight women and four men believed it was Jeffrey that brutally murdered his mother Ruth.  Her body was discovered in the garage of family's Highland Township home on May 27, 2011.  She was stabbed 16 times and beaten believed with a two-by-four.  The weapon was never found.

This was a trial of circumstantial evidence, but it was enough for a conviction, a conviction with which Jeffrey's father doesn't agree.

"I don't believe my son would ever harm his mother.  I believe there (are) other suspects out there that were never looked at," said Bernie Pyne.

Donna Gundle-Krieg sat through the entire gut-wrenching trial.  She was covering it for an online publication, but she also knows the defendant.  He was once her student and is friend of her son.

"Anybody who knows Jeffrey Pyne knows that he does not have the heart to do something like that to anybody, much less to his mother," she said.

During the trial is was revealed Ruth suffered from mental health issues and at times was violent with her son.  A motive? Jeffrey's supporters say no, but he is still going to prison.  The family of four has been torn apart, their lives shattered.

"First of all, I believe in my son's innocence and I wasn't able to get him home for his sister for Christmas, so it's not been a good year," Bernie Pyne said.

The jury did find Jeffrey guilty of the lesser charge, second-degree murder, instead of first-degree.  That means he does have the chance at parole.  His sentencing is scheduled for the end of January.

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