WARREN, Mich. - Three Metro Detroit men have been charged with beating an Auburn Hills man to death and leaving him to die in the middle of Mound Road, officials said.
Watch the full arraignment above.
Christopher Robert Zehnpfenning, of Warren, Christopher James Twarowski, of Hazel Park, and Nathan Thomas Domagalski, of Warren, were arraigned Friday in front of Judge John Chmura at 37th District Court.
They are charged with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $7,500 fine.
The lead detective in the case said Kenneth Klingler met the men late Wednesday night and got into a vehicle with them to go to a party. He said Zehnpfenning was driving, Twarowski was in the front passenger seat, Domagalski was in the back left seat and Klingler was in the back right seat.
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When they were driving home from the party around 1 a.m. Thursday, Klingler started to physically assault Domagalski in the back seat, the detective said.
Zehnpfenning pulled his Buick into a parking lot in the 31300 block of Mound Road and pulled Klingler off of Domagalski, according to authorities.
Zehnpfenning, Twarowski and Domagalski admitted to fighting with Klingler in the parking lot and failing to call 911, the detective said.
Police said Zehnpfenning admitted to having Klingler in a choke hold and punching him multiple times.
Twarowski admitted to kicking Klingler, the detective said.
Klingler was able to get off the ground and walk onto Mound Road before collapsing, according to authorities. He was taken to St. John Macomb Hospital, where he died as a result of his injuries, officials said.
"The repeated fatal blows suffered by the victim at the hands of these defendants is beyond reprehensible," Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said. "These young men could have walked away rather than engage with the victim. They could have called 911, knowing the physical state they left the victim in. Instead, they made the most selfish choice possible: They left the scene and, left the victim to die."
Zehnpfenning, 23, is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash/surety.
Twarowski, 22, and Domagalski, 25, are being held in lieu of $75,000 cash/surety.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for July 16, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for July 23.
WXYZ released the following statement:
"Chris Zehnpfennig has worked in a freelance, part-time capacity with WXYZ. His ongoing employment status is under review pending this investigation. WXYZ is committed to reporting this story with the same transparency and objectivity it uses with all of its coverage of the Detroit community."
Watch the report from Local 4 News at 5 below:
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