Parole absconder faces life in prison for slaying

Associated Press

Grand Rapids — A parole absconder will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the slaying of an 81-year-old man at a hotel in western Michigan.

A jury on Wednesday convicted 29-year-old Matthew Brunn of felony murder in the strangulation death of Casey Wybenga, a former restaurateur. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Wybenga was found dead and his vehicle missing on Dec. 30 at a hotel in Walker. Brunn was arrested in January in Detroit after police say he stole a vehicle belonging to Wybenga. Authorities say Brunn cut his ankle monitor off the night before Wybenga’s body was discovered.

Brunn confessed, but his defense lawyer raised the prospect at trial that a variety of ailments could have killed Wybenga — not strangulation.