Judge OKs parole for woman in Michigan nursing home deaths

WALKER, Mich. (AP) — A judge says the Michigan parole board can release a woman who has spent 30 years in prison for the deaths of nursing home residents in the Grand Rapids area.

Kent County Judge Joe Rossi says the board didn’t abuse its discretion when it voted to grant parole to Catherine Wood, who’s 57 years old.

Five people were suffocated at the Alpine Manor Nursing Home in Walker, near Grand Rapids, in the late 1980s. Wood pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy and was sentenced to a maximum prison term of 40 years.

Investigators say Wood’s cooperation was crucial in prosecuting her companion, Gwendolyn Graham. Wood said she was the lookout for Graham, who is serving a life sentence.

Relatives of the victims sued to try to overturn the parole board’s decision.

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