Appeals court reverses conviction in Vader child death

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm
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Danny A. Wing at his sentencing hearing in Lewis County Superior Court in 2015.

Updated at 4:33 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The former Vader man incarcerated for his role in the abuse, neglect and death of a toddler he and his wife were caring for will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, an appeals court has ruled.

Danny A. Wing was given nearly 35 years when he was sentenced in Lewis County Superior Court in September 2015. He had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and third-degree child assault for the death a year earlier of 3-year-old  Jasper Henderling-Warner.

His wife entered into a similar deal with prosecutors and received a similar sentence.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

A unanimous decision of a three-member panel of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II issued on Tuesday concluded Wing’s plea was premised on an incorrect offender score for the third degree assault of a child conviction, rendering the plea involuntary.

His offender score was improperly calculated at six rather than five, an error the state conceded, and therefore resulted in applying the wrong standard sentencing range, the appeals court wrote. An offender score is related to a person’s previous felony convictions.

For the assault, the range ought to have been 17 to 22 months instead of 22 to 29 months, according to the decision.

Wing was given 416 months for the manslaughter and the two sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. The state argued the error did not determine Wing’s ultimate sentence.

A plea agreement must be treated as “indivisible” and an error on one count means the entire agreement must be set aside, Justice P.J. Worswick wrote.

The family, from the Vancouver area, had  been living in the Vader house about two weeks when the Wings called 911 to say the toddler was unconscious and not breathing on on Oct. 5, 2014. Jasper’s 21-year-old mother had given the couple temporary custody while she was homeless and looked for work out of state.

The autopsy found abrasions, bruises, facial trauma 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.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt called it an incredible story of horror and suffering inflicted.

Wing, now 28, appealed his sentence based also on another issue, claiming prosecutors breached the plea agreement.

His appeal lawyer Lisa Elizabeth Tabbut argued the agreement permitted the state to argue for sentencing enhancements but not to file aggravating factors, but the appeals judges disagreed with the distinction.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh argued the appeal case for the state.

It’s not clear exactly what happens next.

“We don’t know, that’s the long and the short of it,” Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said today.

Wing may petition the state Supreme Court to review the part of the appeal decision he lost, Meyer said. If he doesn’t or even if he does and fails, the case will be back in Lewis County Superior Court, he said.

“Then he gets to choose whether he wants to withdraw his guilty plea or not,” Meyer said. “He can opt to do that and if he does, we go to trial.”

Meyer suggested if Wing were to go to trial on one of the original charges, homicide by abuse with aggravators, and lost, the potential sentence could be lengthy.

Brenda A. Wing was sentenced in January of last year to 34 years and eight months for first-degree manslaughter, third-degree child assault, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

She also has an appeal in the works.
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For background, read “Vader man gets 34 years for toddler death” from Friday September 25, 2015, here

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14 Responses to “Appeals court reverses conviction in Vader child death”

  1. Dlevine says:

    He is as guilty as guilty comes. What a waste… to defend this worthless pos. I hope they add time to his sentence and find more than they found the first time. I hope it backfires.

  2. Dragonrealms says:

    The guy names Martin first one to post you probably beat your own children then just for defending this asshole just saying oh he didn’t mean to do it the hell did he think was gonna happen beating a 3 yr old

  3. Martin says:

    Yes this child was abused cps failed multiple times. He died from multiple things the septic infection from mrsa and being battered but I don’t think he died from the direct abuse alone but it contributed to his maltreatment. I don’t think he’s a child killer but a abuser. I really don’t think he meant for this child to die. But mrsa will kill if left untreated I think it’s easier to say he’s a monster and child killer then to accept any responsibility of the circumstances from the biological mother and child protective services which is a mess. It’s a unfortunate situation. Rest In Peace.

  4. Hometowner says:

    Danny hope you are tortured to death in prison. Rot in hell you worthless mother fucker!!!

  5. Sunshinegirl says:

    Buffy I am with you, except now that we have a pedophile as POTUS we will see a lot more of this , like the Ohio politician who said the 3 year old was a willing to his rape of her. The perverts quietly wait salivating for these monsters to come into power. They are always with us .

  6. BobbyinLC says:

    Unfortunately the only time the death penalty can be applied is in convictions for first degree pre-meditated murder. It could be argued that beatings and neglect of Jasper was pre-meditated but that is a very hard charge to prove (the pre-meditation).

    I fully agree that if you kill a child, the most vulnerable portion of our society, you should be sentenced to death. Of course in this state there is a moratorium on the death penalty instituted by Gov. Inslee so anyone sentenced to death will just sit on death row forever.

    If he thinks he could be acquitted a trial he is most likely very wrong. That would mean he would be re sentenced to prison using the correct offender score.

    Scum bag kills a child, pleads guilty and now wants to argue about his guilty plea. This guy will be filing appeals for the rest of his life sitting in prison.

    Maybe he should be let loose in a room of moms ha ha.

  7. Sunshinegirl says:

    I am with Ervin why is this animal still breathing, a child was beaten to death? What the fuck has changed about that? The autopsy showed systematic beatings over a long time period of time. What has changed about that ???

  8. buffy says:

    The “Powers That Be”, at the very top of the food chain, and right on down the pike, have always turned a blind eye to the abuse of children and especially young boys. They are in positions of leadership within the community because thats where they are able to influence and carry out their repulsive pastimes and get away with it, and be sure that others who share the same tastes are quietly and sometimes without regard to publicity let go and held blameless for their crimes. What ever happened to the police officer in Tacoma 10 or so years ago that was IN CHARGE of assisting children who were victims of sex crimes work their way thru the maze of the justice system and was eventually charged with 60+ counts of molesting the young boys he was hired to protect? I myself was kidnapped and repeatedly raped and given large amounts of pharmaceutical grade LSD when I was 12 years old, and the person responsible was able to retain his position as Scout Master with the Boy Scouts of America for a full 5 more years before leaving the country for Mogadishu, Somalia, where for the last 20 years he has been employed as a school teacher for disadvantaged and orphaned victims of the decades of war in that country. Time to change the status quo and start taking care of this on a local level if we want to keep the children safe from these abominations of the human race. And when you are talking to your neighbor next time, don’t assume you know a thing about what that person has had to endure in his life.

  9. Exceptionally Normal says:

    And dollars to donuts say’s the prosecutor’s office will lay low hoping that in time the public will forget about these above cases, they’ll just fade from public view – like Kayla Croft, Lindsey Baum or Nancy Moyer did.

  10. Exceptionally Normal says:

    I’m inclined to agree. First, a jury’s unanimous guilty verdict against a predatory conniving child rapist is over turned on appeal – based on a perceived procedural technicality. Now, the same thing occurs with a convicted child killer. Three rape cases now dropped in succession?!

  11. Ervin says:

    Why IS he still allowed to breathe

  12. Northwest Focus says:

    Great job prosecutor’s office. Bravo. Well done…

  13. Really? says:

    Why is this ass still alive? Him and his wife should have been sentenced to death. And transferred to someplace that would carry it out. Poor little Jasper, no justice for him…just very sad

  14. BobbyinLC says:

    And these cases never go away. From what I have heard he has several options all within 30 days: he can file an appeal on the original appeal to the State Supreme Court, re-enter a guilty plea and get a different sentence based on the “correct” offender score or get a trial.

    Just sad all around: a 3 year boy is dead because no one cared. He was dropped off with these folks and when it came time to bury him the parents could not even agree on a funeral home causing the coroner to have to take them to court for a decision.

    If it were possible I would have all of these little kids who seem to be thought of as disposable by some living at my home laughing, playing and enjoying childhood.

    It is truly a sad world at times.

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