Man sentenced in Montcalm County beating death

Montcalm County
Ryan Griffee seated in front of wall for arraignment

Ryan Griffee appears in a Montcalm County courtroom via video feed to be arraigned on a murder charge. (July 29, 2019)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been sentenced to prison in the deadly beating of another man in rural Montcalm County.

Ryan Griffee of Howard City pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced Thursday to 12 and a half years to 30 years in prison. He will receive credit for the 431 days he has already spent in jail.

The incident happened at the victim’s home on July 27, 2019 near McBride and North Bailey roads in Maple Valley Township, about five miles southeast of Howard City.

The victim was 57-year-old Ricky West of Coral.

A woman who identified herself as West’s wife previously told News 8 that they were enjoying a night at home with friends. She said that around 11 p.m., she walked into the bedroom and found her husband badly beaten, his face black and blue. She called 911.

Michigan State Police say West was unresponsive when troopers got there. Troopers and emergency medical crews tried to revive him using CPR, but he died at the scene.

Ricky West
An undated courtesy photo of Ricky West.

West’s wife said Griffee walked into the home minutes before she found her husband beaten. She assumed he was a friend of West because he went straight to the bedroom that West was in. She said she thought nothing of it because it’s common for people to come and go at their home; their door was always open.

Shortly after, Griffee was arrested at his parents’ home.

Griffee has previously faced multiple felonies, including one for extortion in 2016. Two weeks before the deadly beating, a former girlfriend took out a personal protection order against him.

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