KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kentwood man who strangled his pregnant wife to death will serve at least three decades in prison and could remain there for the rest of his life.
Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock on Thursday sentenced Richard Guichelaar to between 33 years, 4 months and 100 years in prison. He received credit for 475 days served.
“I don’t believe you should ever be free, quite frankly,” Trusock told Guichelaar, saying he believes he is a danger to society. “Sir, I hope every night, you think about the pain you’ve inflicted on all this family and friends.
“We’re done. Take him to prison, please,” Trusock told the bailiff.
In the gallery of the courtroom, women could be heard weeping as Guichelaar left the room.
Guichelaar, 36, killed Amber Guichelaar, 32, a teacher and mother of two, on Nov. 16, 2020. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and assault of a pregnant individual in February of this year.
Trusock called the murder “absolutely atrocious” and “beyond comprehension, quite frankly.”
“You strangled your wife… You killed her intentionally,” Trusock told Guichelaar. “There’s just no excuse or justification for this brutal and senseless murder. There’s none whatsoever.”
The judge indicated that he was taking into account that Guichelaar strangled his wife to death only feet away from their young daughter, that he caused his wife painful suffering in her final moments, that he initially lied about what happened and that his actions left Amber Guichelaar’s children “basically orphans.”
Given the chance to address the court before his sentence was handed down, Guichelaar, shackled hand and foot, said he was “ready to accept responsibility” for his actions.
He said he has been searching for the words to express his “sorrow, remorse and regret” for the last 16 months and has “been unable to.”
“My wife was a wonderful human being, a wonderful mother, daughter, great daughter, and so many other things,” he said through tears.
Amber Guichelaar’s mother Amy DeGraaf asked Trusock to make sure the sentence fit the crime.
“We trust with your experience that you will sentence with what fits the crime of taking away our daughter and sister and friend and mother,” DeGraaf said.
DeGraaf asked that the judge consider her daughter’s two young daughters, who are now being raised by Amber Guichelaar’s sister, and said the family wants them to be “safe and protected” and fully grown before their father could ever get out of prison.