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Prosecutors charge man with killing wife, attacking daughter with crowbar

(Salt Lake County Jail)

SOUTH SALT LAKE – Aggravated murder charges are filed against the man who police say stormed into his estranged wife’s home and killed her with a crowbar.  He’s also accused of severely beating his 13-year old daughter.

Court documents say Walter Brantzeg went to the apartment of his wife, Valerie, and kicked the door open while she and their daughter were asleep.  While inside, he reportedly used pepper spray and attacked both victims with the crowbar.  The medical examiner found Valerie Brantzeg had 28 blows to her head, while their daughter had a fractured skull.

The girl survived the attack.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera describes it as, “One of the most horrific domestic violence cases I’ve seen.”

According to prosecutors, this attack stemmed from the victim telling Brantzeg she was going to apply for sole custody of their daughter.  Court records state Brantzeg told his daughter, “If you want to be with your mom so bad, be with her,” during his attack.

Investigators say Brantzeg even called local TV stations and reportedly confessed to his crimes.  He’s also charged with killing the family dog.

Valerie Brantzeg’s sister, Jeanne Long, says she leaves behind two daughters.

“Valerie is a victim of this abuse, but those girls are going to be survivors,” she says.

(Jeanne Long, surrounded by family, speaking to reporters.)

Long says Brantzeg kept his wife distant from her family, and they never saw any signs that he would become violent.

“He had her under control.  I don’t know what he might have told her to keep her there.  We tried to get her out of her house, but he had enough control that he brought her back,” she adds.

Long has this message for anyone in an abusive relationship.  “Please do everything you can to get out.  It’s not worth your life.  It’s not worth your children’s lives.”