Highland Township man found guilty of murder in mother's 2011 death
Updated On: Dec 18 2012 05:33:56 PM EST
The verdict for Jeffrey Pyne, the Highland Township man charged with murdering his mother, was revealed in court on Tuesday.
The jury found Pyne guilty of second-degree murder.
Pyne shook his head as one-by-one the jury confirmed the unanimous decision.
He may now face up to 12 years in prison.
Sentencing is scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 29.
"My sister Ruth was a victim. She was not the monster the media portrayed her to be," said Linda Jardie after court ended and Pyne was led out in shackles.
Pyne's father, Bernie Pyne, has believed in his son's innocence since the case first broke. He was shocked by Tuesday's verdict.
"I wasn't there to protect my wife when I needed to be ... first of all, I believe in my son's innocence, and I wasn't able to get him home to his sister for Christmas. It's not been a good year," Bernie Pyne said.
Ruth Pyne was found beaten and stabbed to death May 27, 2011, in the garage of the family's home in Highland Township.
Her son, a 21-year-old former Christian High School valedictorian and University of Michigan biology student, was charged with her death.
Pyne was initially charged with first-degree murder, but the judge agreeded to allow for a lesser charge of second-degree to be considered if the jury cannot convict on first-degree.
Pyne has maintained his innocence.
Mother was bi-polar, a schizophrenic
Nine months before Ruth was killed she was jailed for attempting to strangle Jeffery. She had been committed to a mental hospital.
The prosecution argued that Jeffrey Pyne was upset with his mother and killed her in a fit of rage.
But the defense argued that there is no evidence linking Jeffrey to the crime.
Previous story: Man faces life in prison if convicted of mother's murder
Pyne’s father, Bernie, had been in the courtroom during the trial. He told Local 4 he found it difficult to sit and listen.
"I know my son and he would never hurt his mother. He would never harm her," he said.