Millcreek man sentenced after estranged wife’s murder, daughter’s attempted murder

Walter Eugene Branzeg. Photo: Salt Lake County; Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah May 3, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Millcreek man was sentenced Thursday after being found guilty of the 2018 murder of his wife and the attempted murder of his teenage daughter.

Eugene Brantzeg, 55, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In May, Brantzeg pleaded guilty to:

  • Aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
  • Attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor

The victims of the Aug. 22, 2018 attack were Brantzeg’s estranged wife, Valerie Sue Brantzeg, 50, and the couple’s then 13-year-old daughter, who survived after being treated for skull and facial fractures at Primary Children’s Hospital.

An older daughter was not at home at the time of the attack.

Walter Brantzeg “used a metal crowbar to cause blunt force trauma to both victims during a domestic dispute,” the probable cause statement says.

“Walter contacted several news media channels using his personal cell phone … and confessed to killing his wife and assaulting his daughter.”

The teenage daughter was the subject of a custody battle between the estranged couple.

Police arrived at the crime scene, the Riverbend Apartments, at 845 W. 3900 South, after neighbors called in a report of domestic violence in progress.

Valerie Brantzeg died shortly after paramedics arrived.

An autopsy revealed 28 blunt force injuries to Valerie Brantzeg’s head, court documents say.

Victims of domestic abuse are urged to alert police by calling 911, or a hotline, such as 800-897-5465, the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.


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