Kentwood man pleads in strangulation death of pregnant wife

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A Kentwood man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the strangulation death of his pregnant wife.

Richard James Guichelaar, 36, entered pleas Monday, Feb. 21 to the murder charge and assault of a pregnant individual, intentionally causing stillbirth or miscarriage.

Kentwood police said 32-year-old Amber Guichelaar, a teacher, was killed in the couple’s home on Nov. 16, 2020.

Related: Man charged in pregnant wife’s slaying held on $2 million bond

Amber Guichelaar was the mother of two young children and taught for Kentwood Public Schools.

In a court affidavit, police earlier said a medical examiner determined the cause of death as “strangulation/asphyxiation.”

Richard Guichelaar had called 911 around 3:30 a.m. Nov. 16 to report that he had found his wife dead on the couple’s bed. Police considered the death suspicious before a medical examiner, in an autopsy, “discovered injuries consistent with an assault which occurred just prior to her death,” Kentwood police Detective Timothy Dykgraff wrote in a probable-cause affidavit.

Police determined that Richard Guichelaar was the only one in the home at the time capable of causing such injuries, the affidavit said.

Related: West Michigan husband accused in strangulation death of pregnant wife, a teacher

Richard Guichelaar is expected to be sentenced April 21 before Kent County Circuit Judge Mark Trusock.

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