WARREN, Mich. (FOX 2) - Warren Police said three men were arrested for beating a man to death after his body was found in the middle of Mound Road. They said they were able to arrest the three men when two of them came back to the scene, looking for their shoes.
Warren Police told FOX 2 a man was found in one of the southbound lanes of Mound near Chicago around 2 a.m. on July 4th. He was taken to Ascension Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
"I almost hit him in the middle of the road. He's just lying in the center of the street, blood coming out of his face," the caller said. He definitely needs an ambulance. He's breathing barely."
The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Kenneth Klingler from Auburn Hills.
Warren police believed it was a hit-and-run, until they saw the surveillance video. Now they were looking for the car in that video - a silver Buick - which they actually saw while they were reviewing the video.
Detectives said the suspects pulled up to the gas station to look for their shoes.
Police said 23-year-old Christopher Zehnpfennig, a freelance photographer for WXYZ Channel 7, is also a martial arts expert. Police said he took off his shoes during the fight with Klingler and had returned to the scene with another suspect to pick them up.
"The detectives went across the street confronted them. They made admissions, they were arrested - two of them - and then the third suspect was arrested over at the home on a street here in Warren," said Warren Police Chief Bill Dwyer.
Zehnpfenning, Christopher Twarowski and Nathan Domagalski have all been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Police said Klingler was down on his luck, and he met the men at a party in Troy. Warren Police said they agreed to let him stay at their house in Warren but, along the way, Klingler attacked Domagalski in the backseat. That's when Zehnphenning puled over and intervened.
"They beat him to death. It's a tragedy. They beat him, three of them. I mean, he's suffering," said Dwyer. "He just had no chance. I mean, he had a fractured skull, other injuries that caused his death. It was senseless."
He credited the detectives and the businesses for quickly providing surveillance video that quickly led to the alleged killers.
"Within three hours , from the time we got the 911 call which was 2:07 a.m. and we had all three arrested by 4:56 a.m. So, just great work, but they came back just strictly for their shoes," Dwyer said.