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Michigan Woman Beaten To Death With Wrench While Sleeping, Husband Turns Himself In Days Later

Waterford, MI – A Michigan man has been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of his wife after police discovered her body inside the couple’s home last month.

Investigators said 38-year-old Katy Dougherty, a hairdresser who worked at several assisted living communities in Oakland County, was beaten to death inside her house on Oct. 16, WDIV reported.

According to police, Dougherty was asleep on the couch when her attacker viciously pummeled her in the head with a crescent wrench, MLive reported.

Dougherty’s father told WDIV that his daughter’s husband and alleged killer, 37-year-old Justin Wagenberg, fled to Wisconsin after her murder, but that he later returned of his own accord.

“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,” Dougherty’s father told WDIV.

Wagenberg turned himself in to police two days after Dougherty’s murder, MLive reported.

He was booked into the Oakland County Jail on a charge of homicide/open murder.

A judge denied bond during his arraignment on Oct. 21 and ordered a competency exam, MLive reported.

Wagenberg’s next court hearing is scheduled to take place on Jan. 9, 2023.

Dougherty’s family said the couple had been married for two years, WDIV reported.

“She loved him. She loved him so much,” said her aunt, Peggy Dahl. “She loved him…to death.”

Another of Dougherty’s family members said that Wagenberg hadn’t been taking his medication for his mental health issues and that he “snapped.”

No further details were immediately released.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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