Valedictorian Found Guilty of Murdering His Mother

A valedictorian with a stellar track record has been found guilty of murdering his own mother, but his family says he's innocent. INSIDE EDITION has the story.

A stunning fall from grace for a high school valedictorian. Once described as "the best and brightest" of his class.

A judge threw the book at him after he was convicted of murdering his own mother.

Testimony against the valedictorian stated in court, "He stabbed her again, and again, and again, and again for 16 times."

Ruth Pyne, a dental hygienist, was found slain in her garage outside Detroit.

Her horrified husband, Bernard, called 911. Bernard told 911, "My wife! She's laying in the garage! There's blood everywhere!"

Four months later, in a development that stunned all who knew him, the couple's 21-year-old son Jeffrey, was charged with his mother's murder.

A star athlete and biology student at the University of Michigan, he had graduated a private high school with a 4.0 GPA.

But Pyne's trial exposed the family's darkest secrets. Court records showed that his mother had a history of violent mental illness and had even been arrested for attacking her son just a few months before she was killed.

Pyne's defense stated, "We absolutely reject the notion that Jeffrey had anything to do with this."

Pyne claimed he was elsewhere when the murder happened. But  the jury didn't buy his story.

At his sentencing, he was overcome with emotion when a letter from his 12-year-old sister Julia was read by their father.

His father insisted to the judge that Jeffrey was innocent. A view he also expressed in an exclusive interview with INSIDE EDITION at the family home.

Jeffrey's bedroom reflects his stellar achievements. A basketball MVP award, a valedictorian sash, a mortar board and a University of Michigan cap. Memories of happier times for a son Bernard calls, "A fine young man."

Bernard said, "My son would never harm his mother. He loved his mother."

Pyne's little sister, Julia, was pulling for her brother too. Julia said, "I hope and pray Jeffrey comes home soon."

But it's not likely that Julia will get her wish.

The court sentenced Pyne to 20 years to 60 years behind bars.

If he serves his full sentence, 22-year-old Pyne will be in his '80s when he gets out of prison.

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