GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Despite being granted parole, a woman convicted in the deaths of five elderly nursing home patients in Walker will remain in prison for now.
Catherine Wood was convicted of second-degree murder 30 years ago, and she was slated to be released in October from a federal prison in Florida. Until Kent County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Rossi blocked her release.
In 1987, Wood worked as a nurse's aid at Alpine Manor, alongside her lover, another nurse's aid Gwendolyn Graham. The two planned to suffocate the five elderly patients. Graham is serving a life sentence for the murders.
Tuesday, several relatives of those victims were in court telling the judge why Wood should not be released on parole. They said she is still a danger to society and a true psychopath who lacks empathy, remorse and guilt for the murders.
"She needs to stay away; she needs to stay behind bars where she can never hurt anybody ever again. Psychopaths don't change. They keep killing puppies or people whatever, they hurt people," a granddaughter of one of the victims, Stephani Scruggs said.
"That cold, flat face in there is the same exact cold, flat face, emotionless, that sat up there on the stand 29 years ago and talked about how she and her girlfriend killed people so they could be stuck together forever...for a sex game."
Scruggs alongside other family members of the victims said they're terrified that if Wood is released, she will come and find them.
Wood told Judge Rossi that she'd prefer to stay in prison until the parole appeal has been resolved.
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