Authorities have accused a Michigan man of bludgeoning his wife to death with a wrench while she slept on the couple’s couch.
According to Oakland County jail records, 37-year-old Justin Wagenberg is charged with homicide of a family member. He was denied bond, records show.
Police allege Wagenberg fatally beat his wife, Katy Dougherty, on October 16.
Police allege that after the killing, Wagenberg fled the couple’s Waterford Township home for Wisconsin, before eventually returning to allegedly confess to the crime.
“Well, on the way back, he said he found Christ or something over the last month, 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.
Dougherty’s family says she worked as a hairdresser at three different assisted living communities in the Oakland County area.
“She always had a smile on her face, she was my niece, and I loved her,” Dougherty’s aunt Peggy Dahl said, per the outlet.
According to her obituary, Dougherty “lit up any room she came into. Her smile was infectious. She loved her family and Coco, her cat. She was funny, giving, giggly and witty.”
“She was truly loved because she was love!”
A motive in the alleged slaying remains unclear.
A judge ordered Wagenberg must undergo a competency exam.
It was unclear Friday if Wagenberg has retained an attorney to comment on his behalf or if he has entered a plea to the charge.
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