PONTIAC (WWJ) – A Pontiac man has been charged with murder, after he allegedly admitted to beating his wife to death with a hammer.

Patrick Lee Johnson, 55, was initially charged Jan. 20 with assault with intent to murder — but the charges were amended following the death of Karen Leanna Johnson.

According to the Oakland County Sheirff’s Office, Patrick Johnson confessed to deputies on Jan. 18 that he had attacked his wife during a dispute at their home in the 600 block of E. Beverly in Pontiac.

The suspect allegedly said he and his wife were divorcing, and she wanted money to move. When the husband refused the request for cash, he explained, the pair argued — which led to him striking her multiple times with a hammer.

The 56-year-old victim was found in an upstairs bedroom, unresponsive with severe head trauma, sheriff’s officials said. She was taken by EMS to McLaren Oakland Hospital for treatment, but died of her injuries on Wednesday.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide and Patrick Johnson was arraigned in 50th District Court Friday on a charge of open murder.

He remains held without bond awaiting his next scheduled court appearance set for Feb. 14.


Police say this was the first homicide in Pontiac in 2017.


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