The Justice Files: Man sentenced to life in prison for bludgeoning wife to death, attacking daughter

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – A 14-year-old who was nearly bludgeoned to death by her own father is a survivor.

Her family said she has a strong will to live and will rebound from a horrible tragedy that left her mother dead. Her father, Walter Brantzeg was sentenced Thursday for attacking his family last year in Millcreek.

Brantzeg was sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for murdering Valerie Brantzeg and also received a 15-year-to-life in prison for the attempted murder of his daughter.

“She’s strong,” said the teen’s aunt Jeanne Long. “She’s going to come through this with flying colors.”

Valerie Brantzeg’s family was in court to support the teen who did not appear for her father’s sentencing. Brantzeg used a crowbar to strike his wife 28 times.

“I have had nightmares over this,” said Long. “Last night I saw him going in with a crowbar into her apartment and I’ve never been in her apartment. I can’t imagine how she felt.”

But Brantzeg didn’t stop there. He also used the crowbar to strike their 13-year-old daughter in the head. She was hospitalized but survived.

Prior to sentencing, Brantzeg apologized and asked for forgiveness especially from his daughters.

“It wasnt their fault that this happened,” said Brantzeg. “For that I am sorry and I will not go through my life without thinking about it. I love my kids.

But those were words that angered Valerie’s family. She is the biological mother of the two daughters. Walter is the father of the 13-year-old.

“And for him to sit in there to say he loves his kids, only one of them was his and he tried to kill her,” said Long.

Brantzeg will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole.
Valerie’s family said it’s satisfying to know they’ll never see him again.

“It is finished,” said Sharon Grant, Valerie’s sister. “It’s closure and maybe we can start to put our lives together again but right now, I’m just broken.”

Over what they’re calling was a senseless murder.

“Why?” asked Long. “Why can’t people just walk away when they can’t live with each other.”

If you or someone you know is in a dangerous, domestic situation there is free and confidential help. Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or at udvc.org
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately

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