Murder suspect told police he “fooled around” with victim


WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — A 29-year-old suspect in the murder of an elderly man allegedly told a detective he was “fooling around” with the victim the day he died.

Matthew Brunn is accused of killing 81-year-old Cornelius “Casey” Wybenga at the America’s Best Value Inn & Suites on 3 Mile Road off of Alpine Avenue NW. Wybenga was found dead just before noon on Dec. 30.

Matthew Brunn appeared in court for a preliminary hearing in the murder of an elderly man. (Jan. 30, 2015)
(Matthew Brunn appeared in court for a preliminary hearing in the murder of an elderly man. Jan. 30, 2015)

A detective from the Walker Police Department testified during Brunn’s preliminary hearing on Friday.

He said he interviewed Brunn on Jan. 5 and during the interview Brunn told him Wybenga picked him up and they went to a drug house. Later that day, Brunn said Wybenga brought him to his house to cut off Brunn’s tether, according to the detective.

Brunn told the detective they then went to an ATM before getting a room at the motel. The detective said Brunn told him he was “smoking crack in the bathroom and then he and Wybenga fooled around.”

Brunn told the detective he choked Wybenga out of anger for “enabling him and making him fool around with him that day.”

The Kent County medical examiner also took the stand and said he found four bruises on Wybenga’s neck while conducting the autopsy. Those injuries, he testified, could be caused by a choke hold.

After the hearing, Wybenga’s niece told 24 Hour News 8 she was outraged and believes Brunn took advantage of Wybenga.

“Why would he fool around, he’s 81 years old, he’s frail. He’s not gonna think about something like that no matter what his preference was. He was married for 59 years plus so even if he did have that in his background, no way, he’s 81,” said Rosemarie Gallaspy, Wybenga’s niece.

The judge denied Brunn’s request for bond.

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