Jeffrey Pyne, the Highland Township man accused of beating and stabbing his mother to death last year, faces sentencing on Jan. 29, 2013 after an Oakland County Circuit Court jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum of 12 years in prison.
Ruth Pyne, 51, was found murdered in her garage on May 27, 2011 in the 2400 block of Burwood Court in Highland. Her young daughter found her body around 2:30 p.m. that day after being brought home from school by her father and Ruth Pyne’s husband of about 30 years, Bernard.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor John Skrzynski said during the trial that Pyne allegedly hit his mother in the back of the head 13 or 14 times with a 2-by-4. Her arm had been broken in two places. She also had broken fingers and other injuries to her hands. Her skull was badly fractured.
After that, the prosecution said, Pyne stabbed his mother in the neck 16 times, cutting her carotid artery.
James Champion, Pyne’s defense attorney, while calling the murder “a horrible, cruel, mean death that did not need to happen,” refuted the charges against Pyne entirely, saying that “someone else committed this crime.”
The case of Jeffrey Pyne, 22, who was a University of Michigan biology student at the time of the murder and is a former valedictorian of West Highland Christian Academy, drew national media attention throughout the duration of the trial.
Bernard Pyne, Ruth Pyne’s widower, and Gail Pyne, Jeffrey Pyne’s aunt, have both told the Spinal Column Newsweekly in the past that they believe Jeffrey Pyne is innocent.
“I support my son. And in no way do I think he was involved (in Ruth Pyne’s murder),” Bernard Pyne said in May.
Ruth Pyne reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder and at times did not take her medication, sometimes leading to instances of abuse, some claim.
Jeffrey Pyne was indicted for the murder after a grand jury listened to testimony compiled from his family, friends, and co-workers, which reportedly produced evidence linking him to the murder.