CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The man accused of murdering a Chesapeake mother faced a judge via video for the first time Thursday morning.
Police said Ben Wynkoop, 46, shot and killed his estranged wife Kathryn Dean, 44, inside her home on Willow Oak Drive Monday morning.
Dean’s ex-husband and close friend Larry Dean said she was shot at least six times in the torso inside her garage where she worked. Her dog, Riley, loyally waits in the room where she took her last breath.
“He’s waiting for her to come back; it’s heartbreaking,” Larry said.
Even after their divorce, the pair remained very close. Larry and Kathryn have two children and three step kids together.
He told News 3 he spoke with Kathryn about an hour before her disturbing death.
“Kathryn was a very strong, independent, loving woman,” said Larry. “She was a great mom.”
Larry said she made that disturbing 911 call Monday morning after her second husband, Wynkoop, kicked her door in and made his way into her house.
Wynkoop appeared stoic as he was sworn in virtually during his arraignment Thursday. It lasted only a couple minutes.
New court documents reveal the alleged abuse during their short marriage.
The two had recently separated. Kathryn had a protective order against Wynkoop that was in place just two weeks before her murder.
In 2020, Kathryn filed a criminal complaint against Wynkoop, writing, “He wrestled me to the floor and choked me until I stopped breathing.”
The year before, in 2019, she details another incident where she says Wynkoop was verbally and physically abusive and threatened to kill her several times.
Wynkoop’s father Bennie Wynkoop, condemned his son’s actions.
“I’m not defending my son,” Bennie Wynkoop said. “My son did a horrendous thing. There was no reason for that young lady to die the way she did.”
Meantime, Kathryn's children are holding on to the good memories as they grapple with the loss of their mother.
The family says she was loving and always there for them. Kathryn’s stepson, Dylan Dean, said she raised him since he was two.
“She had a great sense of humor and just really cared about her family,” he said.
Kathryn’s family is holding a vigil outside her home on Saturday at 1 p.m.
On Thursday, the court appointed Wynkoop with an attorney. His preliminary hearing is set for July 14 at 11 a.m., in the Chesapeake JDR court.
Wynkoop is currently being held without bond.