GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man convicted of killing his wife in Kent County 18 years ago, a case that made headlines, has died.
David Duyst Sr. died Monday following “a short illness,” according to his obituary. The Grand Rapids native was 58.
Duyst was serving a life sentence in a state prison for the premeditated murder of his wife Sandra Duyst at their Alpine Township home in March 2000.
The case garnered media attention due to its odd details: David Duyst called police on the night of his wife’s death to say she had killed herself and authorities initially considered the case a suicide. But then medical examiner Dr. Stephen Cohle discovered a second bullet wound in her head. He and another doctor said it was impossible for Sandra Duyst to have inflicted the two wounds on herself.
Additionally, Sandra Duyst had hidden a letter in her home that said police should investigate her husband in the event of her death.
David Duyst had bought the gun used in the shooting in January 2000 and told his wife that he was going to divorce her only days before she died.
The couple had three children.
David Duyst denied killing his wife. His defense argued that Sandra Duyst’s death was the result of suicide, and that the gun had double-fired after she pulled the trigger only once. Jurors didn’t believe that and rendered a guilty verdict.
In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected an appeal in which David Duyst claimed his attorney during his trial was ineffective, upholding his conviction.
David Duyst’s obituary remembered him as “a devout Christian who practiced his faith under difficult circumstances.” Funeral services are scheduled for Monday in Grand Rapids.