By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Charging documents in the homicide case of 3-year-old Jasper Henderling-Warner describe a variety of week’s old injuries and conflicting statements from the married couple who were caring for him about his final day or days on this earth.
The Vader pair were arrested today and are being held in the Lewis County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Brenda A. Wing, 27, and Danny A. Wing, 26, are each charged as either the principal or accomplice in the Oct. 5 death.
No details are offered of exactly what happened, but the results are described in court papers as numerous abrasions including on the back of his head, trauma to his face and multiple bruises to his arms and legs.
X-rays revealed healing fractures, and Jasper was missing his two lower front teeth, according to the court documents.
The cause is labeled by the coroner as chronic battered child syndrome, meaning ongoing physical abuse, according to authorities.
“Basically, it gets to the point where the body just says, ‘I’ve had enough’,” Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office began investigating when it received a Sunday evening 911 call from Brenda Wing that the boy was unconscious and he was rushed to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Brenda Wing said they’d just picked the boy up from his mother in Woodland the night before. Danny Wing told detectives it was two nights before.
Eighteen-year-old Zachary Kidder who resided with the couple at their home on the 400 block of Main Street in Vader said the child had been there for the entire week to week and half he’d been staying there.
The mother, un-named in court documents, told detectives she and the couple agreed they would be his guardians for a year, beginning on July 31, court documents state.
The mother explained she was homeless and could not care for her son and described trips to both Chico, Calif. and Oregon City to look for work. She lives in the Vancouver, Wash. area.
The sheriff’s office has said the parties were distantly related.
Prosecutor Meyer’s documents say they met in July and had several play dates with the boy and the Wing’s children.
Meyer charged the Wings today with homicide by abuse, causing the death by engaging in a pattern or practice of assault or torture; or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter, recklessly causing the death.
“They’re both plausible charges, based upon the facts that we’ve got,” Meyer said late this afternoon.
He said he believes both Wings had a role in the death. Meyer alleges further they used a position of trust on a particularly vulnerable victim.
The little boy was suffering from skin infections that were secondary to his cause of death, according to the court documents.
Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said the doctor who performed the autopsy is not finished with all the forensic studies and could add more contributing factors to the death certificate.
Detectives were told by Kidder that the boy would simply fall over, stiffen and writhe in pain for up to 30 minute several times each day, charging documents state. He also told the detectives at first the Wings picked the boy up two days earlier, but then admitted he was instructed by Danny Wing to say that.
Charging documents offer the following from Brenda and Danny Wing about his condition that weekend:
Brenda Wing said the child was sleeping when they picked him up and when they got home, she put him to bed on the couch in the living room, where her own infant slept in a bassinet.
The following morning she awoke to him moaning, repeating “hungry” while turning his head back and forth with his eyes closed. He had a small bit of toast and Gatorade and she went back to sleep until about noon, and then went to the store.
When she tried to wake him around 4 p.m, he was totally limp so she gave him a bath to revive him and noticed a lot of bruises all over him, she said.
“Brenda initially told detectives once she put the cold water on the child, he stopped breathing,” charging documents state. “She and her husband Danny called 911 and began CPR on the child.”
Danny Wing’s statement was they had brought the boy back to their home on Friday night Oct. 3, not Saturday as his wife had said. On Saturday, the child was coherent, walking around and seemed okay, he said.
That was the day he and his wife noticed the bruises, not right before they called 911, according to Danny Wing.
Brenda Wing told detectives the boy’s mother was a drug user and she believed he had been abused while in the mother’s care.
The mother told detectives after she returned from Oregon City, the Wings brought Jasper to her for a visit in mid-September.
“The mother indicated that she made several attempts to reach the Wing family via cell phone, but they would not take her calls,” Meyer wrote. “When they did, they would make excuses not to meet with her for visitations.”
She provided a note signed by her, Danny and Brenda Wing, making them the guardians from July 31, 2014 until July 31, 2015.
Detectives found a Facebook posting they believe the mother made in September, indicating the Wings had temporary custody of her son, and that she missed him.
Meyer said the evidence they have does not point to the mother being involved.
While the final report has not been issued from the autopsy, the injuries discovered were “weeks, not months” old, during the time the boy was in the care of the Wings, according to the doctor, charging documents state.
The couple is expected to go before a judge on Monday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.
For background, read “Two arrested in death of toddler from Vader residence” from Friday November 7, 2014 at 1:07 p.m., here