'I'm still in complete shock': Mother grieves son beaten to death in Warren

Posted: 11:07 AM, Jul 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-06 11:38:12-04

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — "I'm still in complete shock," Betty Klingler said about the tragic death of her 24-year-old son.

The mother of 24-year-old Kenny Klingler is coming to grips with her devastating loss. Warren police say the morning of July 4th, Klingler was the victim of a deadly assault by three men.

Kenny Klingler met 23-year-old Christopher Zehnpfennig, 23-year-old Christopher Twarowski, and 25-year-old Nathan Domagalski at a party in Troy. According to Warren police, Klingler told the men he was depressed about where he was living. The suspects then invited him to stay at their home in Warren.

At first, Warren police thought they had a deadly hit-and-run on their hands, but detectives say it didn't take long to realize Klingler had been beaten to death.

An altercation broke out in the backseat of the vehicle, which led the driver of the vehicle to pull over into a parking lot, police said. All four people got out of the vehicle, and the fight continued for several minutes, "with all three defendants exchanging fatal blows with the victim," the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office said.

Police also confirmed the suspects left the 24-year-old unconscious with a skull fracture, and police said he was found on Mound Rd. near Chicago.

The altercation ended with the suspects driving off from the parking lot, leaving the victim injured, prosecutors added. According to officials, Klingler was able to get up off the ground and walk out into southbound Mound Road before collapsing.

"As a mother, you just don't want your baby to suffer and I feel like my son suffered," said Betty Klingler to 7 Action News reporter Kim Craig.

Police said the three suspects eventually took off, leaving Kenny Klingler badly beaten. He was taken to St. John Macomb Hospital where he died from his injuries.

"He was kind and loving and didn't deserve to be left like a dog in the street," said Betty Klingler.

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WXYZ has released the following statement in regard to the case:

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.

Family members identified the victim as 24-year-old Kenny Klingler. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to receive help with funeral costs.