Oakland County family mourns woman beaten to death with wrench; Husband charged with murder

Katy Dougherty was killed on Oct. 16

On Oct. 16, Katy Dougherty was fatally struck by a cresent wrench when sleeping on the couch.

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An Oakland County family is mourning as a daughter was killed with a wrench in a domestic attack.

Katy Dougherty, 38, was beaten to death in her Waterford Township home on Oct. 16. Her husband has been charged with her murder after police say he beat her with a wrench.

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

Justin Wagenberg, Dougherty’s husband, is being held in Oakland County jail with no bond and is charged with killing Dougherty with a wrench while she was sleeping on their couch. After the incident, Wagenberg drove to Wisconsin and back to Michigan.

“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,” said Dougherty’s father.

In court on Tuesday, a competency exam was ordered for Wagenberg, and he seemed confused.

“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. That’s not who she was,” said Dahl.

Dougherty was a hairdresser for three different Oakland County assisted living communities, where she gave residents a full salon-like experience.


About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.