Husband charged with murder after Waterford woman killed with wrench while sleeping

Competency exam ordered for Justin Wagenberg

Justin Wagenberg (L); Katy Dougherty (R) (WDIV)

WATERFORD, Mich. – The husband of a Waterford woman who was beaten to death with a wrench while she was sleeping has been charged with murder.

Katy Dougherty, 38, was beaten to death inside her Waterford home on Oct. 16. Her husband, Justin Wagenberg, has been charged with her murder.

Wagenberg is being held in the Oakland County Jail with no bond. A competency exam has been ordered.

Family told Local 4 that Wagenberg fled to Wisconsin after Dougherty’s murder, but returned.

“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.

The family spoke to Local 4 because they want to hear from police and prosecutors in Oakland County. They said they keep finding “more evidence” as they go through the couple’s townhome and cars.

“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,” Dougherty’s aunt Peggy Dahl said.

Dougherty was a hairdresser for three different Oakland County assisted living communities. She was known for the care she provided residents.

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

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

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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.