By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – With less than three weeks to go before trial, a Vader mother of three has the weekend to contemplate a plea offer in last autumn’s death of a 3-year-old boy who was part of her household.
Brenda A. Wing and her husband, both now 27, were arrested after the child died, of what has been described vaguely as ongoing abuse.
Danny A. Wing pleaded guilty in March to first-degree manslaughter and also to assault in a deal that is expected to send him to prison for just over 16 years, if a judge agrees.
Lawyers and Brenda Wing went before a judge today in Lewis County Superior Court, for a scheduled omnibus hearing. That’s a standard proceeding between arraignment and trial in which both sides put down on paper the agreed particulars for trial.
Lewis County Prosecutor Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead and defense attorney John Crowley told the judge they’d like to postpone the omnibus until Monday afternoon.
Both attorneys said outside the courtroom that’s to give the defendant time to consider the state’s proposal for a “resolution” to the case.
Jasper Henderling-Warner was pronounced dead at Providence Centralia Hospital last Oct. 5 after medics were called to the home because he was unconscious.
The autopsy found abrasions, bruises and healing fractures and labeled the cause of death as chronic battered child syndrome. Jasper was suffering from skin infections that were found to be secondary to his cause of death. His 21-year-old mother had asked the couple that summer to take him for a year, while she was homeless and looking for work out of state, according to authorities.
The Wings were initially charged with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter, two crimes with widely different penalties. Each of the two were charged as either the principal or accomplice.
Their three children were taken into protective custody by the state.
While in talks this week about a possible plea deal, the attorneys today continued with steps as though the trial beginning May 18 will still take place.
Halstead told the judge he amended the information to change the date of the offense from Oct. 5, to the time period between July 31 and Oct. 5.
Crowley objected, saying the drastic alteration in the charges would prejudice his client so close to trial. Judge James Lawler allowed the substitute charges.
Brenda Wing pleaded not guilty to the amended information, in her only words spoken aloud on the record.
In March, after her husband pleaded guilty, prosecutors said they expected him to cooperate, leading to more information about what happened to Jasper.
The court hearing was less than 10 minutes long.
When it was over, Crowley left the courthouse to go visit with Brenda Wing in the jail.
For background, read “Prosecutor expects plea deal will help reveal answers about Vader toddler’s demise” from Wednesday March 25, 2015, here