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Michigan Man Accused of Beating Wife to Death with a Wrench in Her Sleep

Justin Wagenberg

Justin Wagenberg

A man is accused of beating his wife to death in her sleep. Justin Wagenberg, 37, allegedly used a wrench on Katy Dougherty, 38, according to WDIV.

“She always had a smile on her face,” Dougherty’s aunt Peggy Dahl told the outlet. “She was my niece, and I loved her.”

Katy was reportedly a hairdresser for local assisted living communities. The outlet described her as giving residents a complete salon-like experience. That life came to an end on her couch in Waterford Township, Michigan, on Oct. 16. Wagenberg allegedly attacked her with a wrench when she was sleeping. He drove to Wisconsin and then back to Michigan, Dougherty said.

“Well, on the way back, he said he found Christ or something over the last month, or something, and so he decided to go back home and turn himself in, but he came home first and went to bed, for I don’t know how long, and then he called the police,” said Dougherty’s father James Dougherty.

“Well, he told them that he snapped,” said another woman, who was unidentified in the report. “He was not on his meds, and he snapped.”

“We didn’t want people to think she killed herself because she didn’t, and I think people think that, and she would never have done that.” Dahl told the outlet. “That’s not who she was.”

Wagenberg was ordered on Tuesday to take a competency exam. In court, he voiced apparent confusion.

“I don’t know,” he said, stammering, when the judge asked if he understood it. “But I’ll agree to it.”

Dahl said Katy loved Wagenberg.

“She loved him so much,” she said again. “She loved him.”

“To death,” James Dougherty said.

“To death,” Dahl said.

Records show Wagenberg is locked up at the Oakland County Jail without bond.

[Booking photo via Oakland County Jail]

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