AP NEWS

Utah man admits killing wife with crowbar, beating daughter

May 3, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man has admitted to beating his estranged wife to death with a crowbar and pummeling his 13-year-old daughter with it.

Walter Eugene Brantzeg of Salt Lake City pleaded guilty to the crimes Thursday as part of a deal with prosecutors that spares him the possibility of the death penalty, the Deseret News reported .

The 55-year-old Brantzeg was in a custody dispute with his estranged wife, 50-year-old Valerie Sue Brantzeg, according to court documents.

Investigators have said Brantzeg kicked in the front door of Valerie Brantzeg’s apartment on Aug. 22, then attacked her and their daughter with the crowbar and pepper spray while they were still in bed, telling the girl, “If you want to be with your mom so bad, be with her.”

An autopsy revealed 28 blunt force injuries to Valerie Brantzeg’s head, according to court documents. Their daughter suffered skull and facial fractures but survived.

Walter Brantzeg entered guilty pleas to each charge he faced, including aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty, a class A misdemeanor, for killing his cat.

His sentencing is scheduled for June 20.

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Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com