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Alpine Manor murderer granted parole

A Kent County Circuit Judge has granted the woman who participated in the murders of elderly nursing home patients parole.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Convicted killer Catherine Wood may soon be getting out of prison. 

Kent County Circut Court Judge J. Joseph Rossi granted Wood parole after receiving more information about her behavior behind bars, determining she "would not become a menace to society or public safety." A condition of her parole is that she can not find work in a nursing home or with children. 

Family members of the victims objected to the Michigan Parole Board's October 2018 decision to grant Wood parole, and requested an appeal of the decision. The Kent County Circuit Court first ruled that more information was necessary, but Judge Rossi issued a new opinion on Oct. 15 stating that the board had not abused its power by recommending Wood be eligible for parole.

Previously, the parole board had considered -- and denied -- Wood’s parole eight times, including in 2016. Each time, the denial was due to the severity of Wood’s crimes and the threat she posed to public safety.

Wood was convicted of second-degree murder for her role in the 1987 deaths of five elderly victims at Alpine Manor nursing home in Walker. A co-defendant, Gwendolyn Graham, was sentenced to life without parole. Graham, 55, is in a state prison in Ypsilanti.

Wood has served 30 years on a sentence of 20 to 40 years. According to the judge's opinion, Wood would be released in the South Carolina area to live with her sister. 

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