Judge halts release of Alpine Manor murderer

Kent County

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, Mae Mason. A total of six victims’ families took part in the petition.

The petition alleges the parole board failed to provide sufficient notice that Wood was being reviewed for parole. It also says that Wood is a serial killer because was convicted in the murder of five victims, and that it is known that serial murderers will kill again, making her a danger to the public.

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. 

Family members of some of the victims have created a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of the appeal process.

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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