Three charged with involuntary manslaughter in Warren beating death

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published July 9, 2019

 Christopher Twarowski

Christopher Twarowski

 Christopher Zehnpfenning

Christopher Zehnpfenning

 Nathan Domagalski

Nathan Domagalski

"The repeated fatal blows suffered by the victim at the hands of these defendants is beyond reprehensible.”

Eric Smith, Macomb County Prosecutor

WARREN — Three men accused of inflicting a beating that resulted in the death of another man went before a judge in Warren July 5 where they were arraigned on the charge of involuntary manslaughter. 

Warren police allege Christopher Robert Zehnpfenning, 23, Christopher James Twarowski, 22, and Nathan Thomas Domagalski, 25, got out of a vehicle and beat Kenneth Klingler, 24, in a parking lot near Chicago and Mound roads early July 4. The men reportedly met Klingler, of Auburn Hills, at a party in Troy and were driving him back to a home in Warren when the alleged violence ensued at about 2:10 a.m.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said Klingler collapsed on Mound after the beating and that patrol officers and detectives were able to quickly obtain video evidence that showed he was involved in a fight and not the victim of a hit-and-run collision, as was initially thought. Zehnpfenning and Twarowski were reportedly arrested when they returned to the scene in the vehicle that officers had seen on the video to retrieve a pair of shoes. Domagalski was arrested later. 

“The repeated fatal blows suffered by the victim at the hands of these defendants is beyond reprehensible,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in a statement after the arraignment in the 37th District Court in Warren. “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.”

Dwyer said Klingler was left with blunt force trauma that resulted in a fractured skull. He reportedly died at the hospital. 

Bail for Zehnpfenning was set at $50,000. He was represented in court by attorney Robbie Lang.

“As far as I know, and I don’t know all the facts, it’s my understanding that the deceased started getting violent, attacking Mr. Zehnpfenning and his friends as they struggled to get him out of the car,” Lang said. “As far as they know they just defended themselves, got him out of the car, left, and he was on his feet and not fatally injured as far as they could tell when they left.”

Bail for Twarowski and Domagalski was set at $75,000. Both requested court-appointed lawyers and there was no attorney listed in court records as of July 8.

All three men were scheduled to be back in court for a probable cause conference before Judge Michael Chupa at 8:45 a.m. on July 16. A preliminary exam was scheduled for July 23.